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The New Zealand Medical Journal

 Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 11-June-2010, Vol 123 No 1316

[full text] [PDF]

Capturing outcomes following injury: a New Zealand pilot study
Sarah Derrett, Gabrielle Davie, Shanthi Ameratunga, John Langley


Before an intended Prospective Outcomes of Injury Study (POIS), a pilot was undertaken to determine whether: 1) injured entitlement claimants would participate in an injury study when first approached by their insurer, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC); 2) people with different types of injury would participate; 3) injured people would answer detailed questions about their injury, alcohol use, disability, health and financial status; and 4) participants would be satisfied with the process of recruitment and interviewing.

ACC randomly selected eligible entitlement claimants who were: aged 18 to 65 years, New Zealand residents at the time of injury, from one of four regions, and registered for an acute injury in November 2006. ACC sent a covering letter introducing the study and advised people of the opportunity to ‘opt out’, together with a Participant Information Sheet. Contact details those not opting out were provided to the researchers who then arranged a telephone interview. After interview, participants were sent a thank you letter and $10 voucher. Interviews included a range of measures selected to reflect the World Health Organization model of functioning, disability and health including the short-form WHODAS II, the EQ-5D and questions about their health, satisfaction with ACC and health services, financial status, paid and unpaid activities and demographics.

66% (111/168) of contactable people participated. Compared to non-participants, participants were more likely to be older and female. Participants reported a range of anatomical regions injured and injury types, including multiple trauma following vehicle crashes, burns, blood poisoning, sprains and strains. Missing responses were highest for total income. However, few responses were missing to questions about difficulty living on household income, likelihood of financial hardship, standard of living and other personal questions. Interviews took an average of 57 minutes. Two-thirds of participants expressed a positive impression of the interview and questions. Four percent reported feeling negative about the initial contact coming from ACC.

An injury outcome study collecting a range of pre-injury and post-injury data, able to identify predictors of disability, was both feasible and acceptable to the intended study population. Methods that required refinement were identified for the main POIS study which is currently underway.

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