Background There is growing evidence that health and social outcomes following motor vehicle crash injury are related to cognitive and emotional responses of the injured individual, as well as relationships between the injured individual and the compensation systems with which they interact. Investigation is therefore warranted to identify the key determinants of health and social outcomes following injury in the context of the New South Wales motor accident insurance scheme.
Methods In this inception cohort study, 2400 participants, aged 17 years or more, injured in a motor vehicle crash in New South Wales are being identified principally though hospital emergency departments. Participants will be initially contacted through mail. Baseline interviews are conducted by telephone within 28 days of the injury and participants are followed up with at 6, 12 and 24 months post-injury. Medicare and Pharmaceutical prescription data will also be linked to the observed data.
Results Recruitment for the study is underway with 1438, 924, 706, 135 baseline, 6, 12 and 24 months interviews completed respectively. Interim analysis of first 777 participants is reported below. Over one- fourth (215; 27.3%) of the participants were born outside Australia, 67% were males, 79.5% were in paid employment at the time of injury. The data source/hospital was significantly associated with the distribution of mode of transport injuries and major differences were observed for urban hospitals with 35.9% (232/647) of the cohort being bicyclists whilst a high proportion of motorcycle riding injuries (51.6%; 48/93) were reported from rural hospitals. At the first interview, participants had a lower health related quality of life than the general population (EQ5D a mean difference of −0.539; <0.0001); despite less than half reporting admission to hospital because of their injury. Return to work was reported by 65% whilst only 36% reported being able to return to their usual social activities. Analysis of outcome predictors related to post-injury function, disability and return-to-work are now under way.
Conclusions The interim analysis of the cohort reported a very high proportion of bicyclists injuries. Identification of factors associated with health and social outcomes following injury, including related compensation factors will provide evidence for improved service delivery, post-injury management, and inform policy development and reforms.
- health outcomes
- motor vehicle injury