The level of permanent disability among the injured,
including those not admitted to hospital for their injury, has
surprised University of Otago researchers.
The prospective outcomes of injury study tracked a cohort of
people who suffered an injury which resulted in them being
placed on ACC's entitlement claims register after either
being admitted to hospital, or receiving treatment without
Lead researcher Dr Sarah Derrett, of the Injury Prevention
Research Unit, said the latest analysis looked at the cohort
three months after injury, and found 39.4% of the 2079 people
who were not admitted to hospital had a disability.
Of those admitted, 53.6% of the 673 people had a disability.
"Often, there is an assumption that people not admitted to
hospital don't have a serious injury or long-lasting
"Our study has found a high proportion of those not admitted
to hospital have an ongoing disability, and that's
Funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the
study aims to identify factors associated with poor outcomes
and slower injury recovery.
"Internationally, we don't know enough about the outcomes of
injury long term, and particularly about outcomes for those
not hospitalised," Dr Derrett said.
"This study is assessing the burden of injury long term and
seeing if any particular groups are at risk of a poorer
outcome than others."
People with injuries traditionally seen as mild were
experiencing disability, and it was important to know more
about them, she said.
The findings were presented this week at the Safety 2012
World Conference in Wellington.