Measuring socioeconomic outcomes in trauma patients up to one year post-discharge: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Trauma accounts for nearly one-tenth of the global disability-adjusted life-years, a large proportion of which is seen in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Trauma can affect employment opportunities, reduce social participation, be influenced by social support, and significantly reduce the quality of life (QOL) among survivors. Research typically focuses on specific trauma sub-groups. This dispersed knowledge results in limited understanding of these outcomes in trauma patients as a whole across different populations and settings. We aimed to assess and provide a systematic overview of current knowledge about return-to-work (RTW), participation, social support, and QOL in trauma patients up to one year after discharge.

We undertook a systematic review of the literature published since 2010 on RTW, participation, social support, and QOL in adult trauma populations, up to one year from discharge, utilizing the most commonly used measurement tools from three databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. We performed a meta-analysis based on the type of outcome, tool for measurement, and the specific effect measure as well as assessed the methodological quality of the included studies.

A total of 43 articles were included. More than one-third (36%) of patients had not returned to work even a year after discharge. Those who did return to work took more than 3 months to do so. Trauma patients reported receiving moderate social support. There were no studies reporting social participation among trauma patients using the inclusion criteria. The QOL scores of the trauma patients did not reach the population norms or pre-injury levels even a year after discharge. Older adults and females tended to have poorer outcomes. Elderly individuals and females were under-represented in the studies. More than three-quarters of the included studies were from high-income countries (HICs) and had higher methodological quality.

RTW and QOL are affected by trauma even a year after discharge and the social support received was moderate, especially among elderly and female patients. Future studies should move towards building more high-quality evidence from LMICs on long-term socioeconomic outcomes including social support, participation and unpaid work.

Return to work in survivors of primary brain Tumours treated with intensity modulated radiotherapy

Primary Brain Tumour survivors usually have significant morbidity, especially cognitive and neurological dysfunction. Return to pre-diagnosis work can be an important QoL indicator and outcomes measure in these patients. We did a retrospective study to assess return to work amongst the patients who underwent radiotherapy at our centre.

Primary brain tumour (PBT) survivors have a high burden of morbidity. Return to work (RTW) is an important survivorship parameter and outcomes measure in these patients, especially in developing countries. This study was done to assess RTW after radiotherapy, reasons for no RTW, and relationship of RTW with treatment and patient factors.

Patients and Methods
A single centre study was done amongst PBT patients. Baseline and treatment details, education, employment was assessed. RTW assessed as: time to RTW, full/ part-time, reasons for no RTW and RTW at 6 months post-therapy, and last follow up.

67 PBT patients with a median age of 42 years were assessed. Most common diagnosis was low grade glioma. Over 66% patients were illiterate, and 62% had semi-skilled and unskilled jobs, mostly agriculture. About 64.4% patients returned to employment in a median time of 3 months. At 6 months post-treatment 58.2% had a job, with only 42% working full-time. ‘Limb weakness’ (21.4%), followed by ‘loss of job/ no job’ (16.7%), ‘fatigue’/ ‘tiredness’ (14.3%), ‘poor vision/ diminished vision’ (11.9%) were the common reasons for no RTW. The factors found to be significantly associated with return to work were younger age (p = 0.042), male sex (0.013), the absence of complications during radiotherapy (p = 0.049), part time job prior to diagnosis (p = 0.047), and early return to work after RT (p < 0.001). Conclusion Studies are needed to identify the barriers in re- employment and steps to overcome them in cancer patients