The Relationship Between Traumatic Injury in Children and Long-Term Use of Health and Social Services by Children and Their Families
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To increase understanding of relationships between general traumatic injury in children and long-term use of resources in the health care and social services (HSS) sectors by these children and their families 8-10 years after traumatic injury. This study was a cross-sectional retrospective cohort study of prognosis from 2001 to 2003 that quantified recent expenditures on and use of HSS by children and also by their parents. Forty-eight cases of children were selected from the Hamilton Health Sciences pediatric trauma database in the period from January 2001 to December 2003 after incurring a traumatic injury with Injury Severity Score greater than 12. The average total cost to the HSS system per child's family was $4,326.62 during the preceding 6 months. During the same period, average use of HSS was 7 visits. Total service costs incurred by caregivers of injured children increased with severity of the traumatic injury (p= .009). Caregiver HSS use was higher when the injury was caused by a motor vehicle accident than by other types of accidents (p< .001) and increased with the injury severity (p< .001). HSS use by children was related to gender (p< .001), injury mechanism (p< .001), age at accident (p< .001), and time since accident (p= .012), among other factors. Pediatric trauma appears to have long-term effects on expenditures on and use of HSS by the affected children and their families. The findings emphasize the need for long-term assessment and possible delivery of services to the families of the injured children.
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