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In an article published in the August 18, 2022 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Juan Herrera-Escobar and Jeffrey Schneider argue that traumatic injury should be recategorized as a chronic condition, given the long-term, often life-altering, consequences of moderate to severe traumatic injury. “People who survive such injuries have increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and functional limitations; poor health-related quality of life and social functioning years after injury; and a delayed return to work and increased risk of developing other medical conditions,” they explain. And marginalized groups, people of color and those of low socio-economic status carry a greater risk of injury and have worse outcomes than the general population.

Among their recommendations, Herrera-Escobar and Schneider suggest better, longitudinal, multidisciplinary follow-up for trauma patients; classification as a chronic disease; routinized collection of longitudinal patient-centered outcomes; and the establishment of a national center for traumatic injury within the National Institutes of Health. “Framing traumatic injury as a chronic condition and implementing strategies supporting this approach would help the U.S. health system address the social determinants of health that affect trauma recovery, adopt patient-centered outcome measures to assess quality of care and inform clinical decisions, and reform reimbursement systems to reward value for patients.”

Dr. Herrera-Escobar has been involved in CNTR’s National Trauma Research Action Plan (NTRAP) project, leading the Delphi survey identifying and prioritizing core Patient-Reported Outcome Measures for research in traumatic injury survivors.

Read the article HERE.