Statement of purpose Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can affect later health-related quality of life (HRQoL), but there is little research to assess clinical characteristics that may improve or hinder HRQoL among TBI patients in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Europe and Asia. This research aims to assess how clinical characteristics of TBI are associated with differences in HRQoL in patients from LMICs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Methods/Approach This study uses data from the International Collaboration to Increase Traumatic Brain Injury Surveillance in Europe (INITIatE), an NIH-funded project focusing on improving TBI research in Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova. At the time of the injury, data were collected on patient demographics, characteristics of the injury event, symptoms and diagnoses post-injury, and inpatient interventions. At discharge, patients completed the five-level, five-dimension EuroQol (EQ-5D-5L), a survey intended to measure HRQoL across five dimensions: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression. Clinical injury characteristics and HRQoL were compared using univariate analyses and will be further compared using multivariable logistic regression analysis.
Results Univariate analyses found that posttraumatic amnesia, skull fracture, traumatic cerebral edema, hematoma, use of antiseizure medications, daily therapy intensity level, country of residence, employment status, and alcohol use prior to injury were all significantly associated with differences across all dimensions of EQ-5D-5L. Preliminary multivariate models indicate that these characteristics remain significant for overall scores, with various permutations predicting the five component scores.
Significance While conclusions from multivariable analyses are pending, a few important clinical injury characteristics are univariately associated with differences in HRQoL among TBI patients in three LMICs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. This research will help medical professionals in these three countries to more effectively care for potential injuries with an aim to preserve HRQoL for the injured patients.
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