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The Relationship Between Traumatic Injury in Children and Long-Term Use of Health and Social Services by Children and Their Families

Garnett, Anna MSc, RN; Browne, Gina PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000219

To increase understanding of relationships between general traumatic injury in children and long-term use of resources in the health care and social services (HSS) sectors by these children and their families 8–10 years after traumatic injury. This study was a cross-sectional retrospective cohort study of prognosis from 2001 to 2003 that quantified recent expenditures on and use of HSS by children and also by their parents. Forty-eight cases of children were selected from the Hamilton Health Sciences pediatric trauma database in the period from January 2001 to December 2003 after incurring a traumatic injury with Injury Severity Score greater than 12. The average total cost to the HSS system per child's family was $4,326.62 during the preceding 6 months. During the same period, average use of HSS was 7 visits. Total service costs incurred by caregivers of injured children increased with severity of the traumatic injury (p= .009). Caregiver HSS use was higher when the injury was caused by a motor vehicle accident than by other types of accidents (p< .001) and increased with the injury severity (p< .001). HSS use by children was related to gender (p< .001), injury mechanism (p< .001), age at accident (p< .001), and time since accident (p= .012), among other factors. Pediatric trauma appears to have long-term effects on expenditures on and use of HSS by the affected children and their families. The findings emphasize the need for long-term assessment and possible delivery of services to the families of the injured children.

School of Nursing, McMaster University, HSC 2J20, 1280 Main St. W, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada.

Correspondence: Anna Garnett, MSc, RN, School of Nursing, Health Sciences Centre, 2J20, 1280 Main St W, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada (

Authors' contribution: Anna Garnett: developing of research questions, literature review, conducting research, data collection and analysis, manuscript writing, and revision of final manuscript. Gina Browne: development of research topic, question development and revision, review of collected data and analysis, contribution to writing and revision of manuscript, and final approval of manuscript.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2016 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.