Predictors of 12 month functional outcomes and length of stay of severely injured children in NSW, Australia. A longitudinal multi-centre study

Publication Name



Background: The majority of paediatric injury outcomes studies focus on mortality rather than the impact on long-term quality of life, health care use and other health-related outcomes. This study sought to determine predictors of 12-month functional and psychosocial outcomes for children sustaining major injury in NSW. Methods: The study included all children < 16 years requiring intensive care or an injury severity score (ISS) ≥ 9 treated in NSW at a paediatric trauma centre (PTC). Children were identified through the three PTCs and NSW Trauma Registry. The paediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) and EuroQol five-dimensional EQ-5D-Y were used to measure HRQoL post-injury, completed via parent/carer proxy recruited through NSW PTCs. Results: There were 510 children treated at the three NSW PTCs during the 15-month study period. The mean (SD) age was 6.7 (6.0) years, with a median NISS (New Injury Severity Score) of 11 (IQR: 9–18). Regression analysis showed worse psychosocial health at twelve months was associated with hospital length of stay (LoS) and number of body regions injured (F2,65 = 5.85, p = 0.005). Physical outcome was associated with LoS and intensive care unit (ICU) admission (F2,66 = 13.48, p < 0.001). Hospital LoS was significantly associated with NISS and head injury (F2,398 = 51.5, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Hospital length of stay and polytrauma are independent factors that negatively influence psychological and physical outcomes of children with major injuries. Early intervention to enable emotional well-being, discharge home and long-term follow up such as dedicated family support and rehabilitation at home could reduce preventable poor outcomes.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Number

GNT 1092499

Funding Sponsor

Thyne Reid Foundation



Link to publisher version (DOI)