Content » Vol 46, Issue 4

Special report

Functional status of fracture victims four years after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake

Qiang Gao, Aaron Leung, Qiu Liang , Xiaotian Yang , Cheng Li , Lin Yang, Chengqi He
Department of Physical Medicine, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, , China
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1799


Objective: To investigate the functional status of fracture victims 4 years after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
Methods: A total of 374 fracture victims who were admitted to the rehabilitation department of 5 municipal hospitals in the hardest hit areas in 2008 were interviewed face to face in 2012. Functional assessments, including muscle strength, range of motion, pain, activities of daily living and working status, were conducted.
Results: Approximately one-third (33. 2%) of the fracture victims had decreased muscle strength and 29. 4% had limited range of motion. Among the 55. 3% of subjects who still experienced pain, the proportions of mild, moderate and severe pain were 65. 7%, 28. 5% and 5. 8%, respectively. The majority (83. 4%) of fracture victims were independent in caring for themselves. However, 1. 6% of subjects were highly dependent or totally dependent. Single-fracture victims had better muscle strength, range of motion, pain and independence than those with multiple fractures. The degrees of pain, muscle strength and dependency were worse in the older age group, and better in those with a higher level of education. In addition 17. 1% were jobless and 22. 2% received economic support mainly from family members. The mean unemployment rate was significantly higher and the annual household income (USD 3,086 (standard deviation 1,985) was lower than in the general population in rural Sichuan province.
Conclusion: The prevalence of functional disorders, including pain, limited range of motion, decreased muscle strength and dependency in activities of daily living, remained high among fracture victims 4 years after the Wenchuan earthquake. Unemployment rate was high and annual household income was low in this population.

Lay Abstract


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