Health-related quality of life in urban surgical emergency department patients: Comparison with a representative German population sample

Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. 2005;3(1):77 DOI 10.1186/1477-7525-3-77


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Health and Quality of Life Outcomes

ISSN: 1477-7525 (Online)

Publisher: BMC

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Medicine (General): Computer applications to medicine. Medical informatics

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Wernecke Klaus

Neumann Tim

Weiss-Gerlach Edith

Felsmann Bodo

Miller Peter M

Neuner Bruno

Spies Claudia


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 22 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Patients in emergency departments show a high prevalence of substance use. Quality of life is associated with substance use as well as socioeconomic status. Little is known about quality of life in substance-abusing young patients with minor trauma.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>An investigation in an Emergency Department in an inner city university hospital was conducted during 8 months. Overall, 1,596 patients completed the SF-36 and an established SES-questionnaire and were screened for substance use (harmful alcohol consumption (≥ 8 points in men and ≥ 5 points in women on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), smoking and illicit drug use). Results were compared with a representative German population sample (German Federal Health Survey 1998).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Median age of participants was 32 years and 61.8% were male. Mean physical component summary score (PCS) of the Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) was 53.4 ± 8.3 points and significantly higher than the age and gender-stratified German Federal Health Survey-data. Mean mental component summary score (MCS) was 47.9 ± 10.0 points and significantly lower than the age and gender-stratified German Federal Health Survey-data. In Emergency Department patients, prevalence of substance use was high and harmful alcohol consumption and illicit drug use were strongly associated with impaired mental health. Education and occupational status were strongly positively associated with physical health.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>We conclude that there is a high prevalence of substance use in young patients with minor trauma and mental quality of life is impaired. Screening and brief intervention strategies to reduce substance-use associated disorders should consider these findings.</p>