The objective of this study was to assess the current practice pattern regarding posthospitalization follow-up of trauma patients among the members of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST). An anonymous online multiple-choice survey of EAST members in 2016 was conducted. Ten questions relating to the follow-up care of injured patients were presented to the Active, Senior, and Associate members of EAST. Data were screened for quantitative concerns prior to analysis. Of the 1,610 members surveyed, 289 responded (18%). Approximately 52% of respondents stated that their institution has a dedicated trauma follow-up clinic where most injured patients are seen after discharge. Less than 20% reported that nontrauma multidisciplinary providers are present in clinics. Most (89.5%) reported that follow-up is a single visit, unless a patient has long-standing issues. Only 3 respondents stated that patients are regularly seen 3+ months out from injury, and a significant minority (17.7%) acknowledged no set follow-up timeline. Only 3.6% of participants indicated that they have a psychologist embedded in the trauma team, and 11.5% reported that no system is currently in place to manage mental health. Despite more than 20 years of literature highlighting the long-term physical and mental health sequelae after trauma, these survey results demonstrate that there is a lack of standardized and multidisciplinary follow-up. Given the improvement in outcomes with the identification and treatment of these sequelae, greater attention should be paid to functional recovery, social and psychological well-being, and chronic pain.
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (Drs Trevino, deRoon-Cassini, Carver, and Milia); Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center/Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire (Dr Cooros); and Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Ms Chesney).
Correspondence: Colleen M. Trevino, PhD, Department of Trauma & Acute Care Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53226 (email@example.com).
This article was presented at the 31st Annual Scientific Assembly of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, January 13, 2018, in Orlando, FL.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.