PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Appropriate measurements of success in trauma systems are evolving. We review the rationale behind prior trauma and rehabilitation outcomes measures, and how they have led to the current rehabilitation tools in use today. In addition, we review the difficulties with current methods and future improvements that need to occur. RECENT FINDINGS: As medicine marches toward improved used of clinical evidence, trauma practitioners have worked for improved outcomes research. A major part of this is that outcomes such as functional status and quality of life are as important as mortality statistics. Trauma rehabilitation outcomes are thus more important, yet in the past all such tools have had major impediments to implementation across a heterogeneous trauma population. Newly recognized major domains such as quality of life, preinjury status, patient perceptions, and actual function at work have not been adequately addressed with current rehabilitation measures. At this time, no clinically applicable trauma rehabilitation score exists. SUMMARY: Trauma rehabilitation outcomes are an important measurement of trauma system effectiveness. A more effective, easily applied rehabilitation score is needed to adequately assess all appropriate domains of clinical improvement in the injured patient.
- Quality of life