Comparison of short-term outcomes between people with and without a pre-morbid mental health diagnosis following surgery for traumatic hand injury: a prospective longitudinal study of a multicultural cohort

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 24, (1)
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Abstract Background Following traumatic hand injury, few studies have compared outcomes between people with and without a pre-morbid mental health diagnosis. This study aimed to compare sub-acute outcomes in a multicultural patient cohort with surgically managed traumatic hand injury with and without a pre-morbid mental health diagnosis. Methods A prospective, observational cohort study of people with traumatic hand injury presenting pre- surgically to a high-volume hand injury centre in a region of cultural and language diversity was conducted. Participants were assessed face-to-face (baseline) then via telephone (3-months post-surgery) and categorized according to a pre-morbid medically diagnosed mental health diagnosis. Baseline and follow-up assessments included global mental health, and the EuroQol (EQ) ‘Health Today’ analogue scale (0–100) and health domains. Return-to-work status, complications/symptomatic complaints, and hand function (QuickDASH) were also collected at follow-up. Adjusted analyses—accounting for covariates including cultural identity—were conducted to determine whether 3-month outcomes were associated with a pre-morbid mental health diagnosis. Results From 405 eligible patients, 386 were enrolled (76% male, mean age 38.9 (standard deviation 15.6)); 57% self-identified as Australian and 22% had a pre-morbid mental health diagnosis. Common injuries regardless of pre-morbid mental health diagnosis were skin (40%), tendon (17%) and bone (17%) injuries. None were complex mutilating injuries. Seventy-eight per cent of the cohort was followed-up. In adjusted analyses, a pre-morbid mental health diagnosis was associated with lower odds for reporting ‘good or better’ global mental health (Odds Ratio (OR) 0.23 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.18, 0.47), p < 0.001), ‘no’ anxiety or depression (OR 0.21 (0.11, 0.40), p < 0.001) and no pain (OR 0.56 (0.31, 0.98), p = 0.04)(EQ domains), and worse EQ ‘Health Today’ (10 points on average (95%CI -14.9, -5.1, p < 0.001). QuickDASH scores, rates of complications/symptomatic complaints and return-to-work profiles were similar. Conclusions Despite reporting worse mental and health-related quality-of-life outcomes post-surgery, people with a pre-morbid mental health diagnosis regardless of cultural identity experienced similar clinical and return-to-work outcomes. Future research assessing the value of screening for pre-morbid mental health conditions on post-surgical outcomes is required and should include people with more complex hand injuries.
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