Content » Vol 47, Issue 9

Original report

Health-related quality of life of fracture victims four years after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake

Qiang Gao, Aaron Leung, Jan D. Reinhardt , Fuming Zhang, Qiu Liang , Baoyu Chen, Wei Meng , Winson Lee, Hongchen He
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Sichuan, China. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2004


Objective: To investigate health-related quality of life and its relationship with functional status and other related factors in victims with fractures 4 years after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
Design: A cross-sectional survey with a multi-stage random sampling method.
Setting: Five hospitals from the areas most severely affected by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
Subjects: Victims with fractures aged 14 years and older who were hospitalized in the rehabilitation departments of the 5 identified hospitals during the period 12 May 2008 to 12 May 2009.
Methods: Information on demographics, such as age, gender, marital status and educational level, functional status, working status, income, and health-related quality of life, were investigated. Manual muscle test, visual analogue scale, Modified Barthel Index and Medical Outcomes Short Form 36 (SF-36) were employed as the main outcome measures.
Results: A total of 243 victims with fractures were interviewed. Thirty-seven percent of the fracture victims had decreased muscle strength, 28. 8% had limited range of motion, 51. 8% still experienced pain, and 17. 7% were dependent to different extents. With the exception of the domains vitality and mental health, the earthquake victims perceived significantly lower health-related quality of life than the local general population. Older age, being female, unmarried, low education, multiple fractures, muscle weakness, pain and being dependent were significant predictors of lower health-related quality of life. Most SF-36 subscales were negatively correlated with age, multiple fractures and pain, but positively correlated with independence in activities of daily living and income.
Conclusion: Four years after the major Sichuan earthquake, many victims with fractures still had reduced functional status and experienced pain, and their health-related quality of life was low compared with the general population.

Lay Abstract


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