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20.01.2020 | Ausgabe 6/2020 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 6/2020

Quality of life following road traffic injury: the impact of age and gender

Quality of Life Research > Ausgabe 6/2020
R. Rissanen, J. Ifver, M. Hasselberg, H.-Y. Berg
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11136-020-02427-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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The impact of road traffic crashes on health is well developed, in terms of deaths and direct consequences, but it is less so in terms of long-term life consequences. Few studies have compared the general impact on Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) following road traffic injury (RTI) by using a variety of different injured body parts and severity levels of the injury and compared them with a sample of non-injured referent individuals. Consequently, the aim of the current study is to assess how injury severity is associated with HRQoL, and if it differs between men, women, over age and injured body parts.


This cross-sectional study identified people with a RTI in the Swedish Traffic Accident Data Acquisition System (STRADA). A frequency matched reference group was also included. Data include both register data and self-reported HRQoL data.


A total of 1788 out of 4761 persons with an RTI (37.6%) and 2186 out of 4761 reference persons (45.9%) returned the questionnaire, giving a total response rate of 41.9% (n = 3974). The findings show different patterns of HRQoL loss, depending on sex, age, injured body part, and levels of injury severity.


The results show that even relatively minor road traffic injuries can lead to a significantly lower of HRQoL, especially for women, compared to the non-injured reference group. Moreover, when the inherent reduction of HRQoL over age was considered, the results indicated that younger individuals have a larger difference from the reference group in HRQoL, independent of the injury severity, compared to the older individuals; hence, an improved understanding of age and gender differences in HRQoL following an RTI is needed to better understand the long-term consequences of injuries from a public health perspective.

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