Do Physical & Mental Health Components Contribute to the HRQOL of Rehabilitated Soldiers with Permanent Limb Disabilty?

Research Paper Title

Quality of Life and Its Determinants Among Community Re-Integrated Soldiers With Permanent Disabilities Following Traumatic Limb Injuries.

Background

To assess health-related-quality of life (HRQOL) after the end of war and its associated factors among soldiers with permanent limb disabilities in Sri Lanka.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 500 rehabilitated and socially re-integrated Army soldiers having permanent disability following traumatic limb injuries during the last year of ethnic conflict of Sri Lanka.

Females, soldiers with no updated data, and soldiers having permanent deafness/total blindness/total brain or spinal cord injury were excluded.

The sample was randomly selected from updated ‘Disabled Category Registries’.

Personal and injury data were collected through postal questionnaire.

HRQOL was assessed using SF-36 tool validated for Sri Lankan soldiers.

Results

SF-36 scores obtained on HRQOL related to overall physical health (mean = 57.1; SD = 19) and mental health (mean = 58.8; SD = 17.2) were comparable.

HRQOL was best in social functioning (mean = 73.4; SD = 24) and worst in vitality (mean = 48.4; SD = 15.5).

Factors significantly associated with better HRQOL related to the overall physical and mental health were aged over 35 years, being married, being assigned duties, having only upper/lower limbs affected and absence of co-disability.

Having duties assigned demonstrated better QOL in almost all domains.

None were associated with income or education.

Conclusions

Physical and mental health components contribute equally to the HRQOL of rehabilitated soldiers with permanent limb disabilty.

Their poorer HRQOL was determined by certain person- and injury-related factors.

These need to be addressed during re-integration and post-rehabilitation services.

Reference

Gowinnage, S.S. & Arambepola, C. (2020) Quality of Life and Its Determinants Among Community Re-Integrated Soldiers With Permanent Disabilities Following Traumatic Limb Injuries. Quality of Life Research. doi: 10.1007/s11136-020-02473-x. Online ahead of print.

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