An assessment of long-term physical and emotional quality of life of persons injured on 9/11/2001

Robert M. Brackbill, Howard E. Alper, Patricia Frazier, Lisa M. Gargano, Melanie H. Jacobson, Adrienne Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fifteen years after the disaster, the World Trade Center Health Registry (Registry) conducted The Health and Quality of Life Survey (HQoL) assessing physical and mental health status among those who reported sustaining an injury on 11 September 2001 compared with non-injured persons. Summary scores derived from the Short Form-12 served as study outcomes. United States (US) population estimates on the Physical Component Score (PCS-12) and Mental Component Score (MCS-12) were compared with scores from the HQoL and were stratified by Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and injury status. Linear regression models were used to estimate the association between both injury severity and PTSD and PCS-12 and MCS-12 scores. Level of injury severity and PTSD history significantly predicted poorer physical health (mean PCS-12). There was no significant difference between injury severity level and mental health (mean MCS-12). Controlling for other factors, having PTSD symptoms after 9/11 predicted a nearly 10-point difference in mean MCS-12 compared with never having PTSD. Injury severity and PTSD showed additive effects on physical and mental health status. Injury on 9/11 and a PTSD history were each associated with long-term decrements in physical health status. Injury did not predict long-term decrements in one’s mental health status. Although it is unknown whether physical wounds of the injury healed, our results suggest that traumatic injuries appear to have a lasting negative effect on perceived physical functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1054
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was supported by the Cooperative Agreement U50/ATU272750 from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which included support from the National Center for Environmental Health and by Cooperative Agreement U50/OH009739 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the ATSDR or CDC/NIOSH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • HQoL s9/11
  • Injury
  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Short Form-12 (SF-12)
  • World Trade Center disaster

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