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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2012;155(35):A4233.

[Dutch military casualties of the war in Afghanistan--quality of life and level of participation after rehabilitation].

[Article in Dutch]

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  • 1Militair Revalidatie Centrum Aardenburg, Doorn, the Netherlands.



To describe the distribution of injuries and the quality of life and functioning at activity and participation level of rehabilitated Dutch military personnel who were wounded during the mission to Afghanistan.


Retrospective, descriptive.


The study population consisted of military war casualties who followed multidisciplinary rehabilitation treatment for injuries sustained in combat in Afghanistan. Distribution and degree of injuries were classified according to the 'Abbreviated Injury Scale' (AIS) and the 'Injury Severity Score' (ISS). Quality of life and functional disabilities were assessed with a semi-structured interview, and the following questionnaires: EuroQol-5D with an extra dimension 'cognition' (EQ-6D), the 'Assessment of Life Habits' shortened version 3.0 (LIFE-H 3.0) and the 'Lower Extremity Functional Scale'(LEFS). Coping style was assessed with the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire' (CERQ).


A total of 48 servicemen cooperated. A total of 248 injuries; 54% of which affected the extremities. In 9 victims an amputation of the lower extremity was performed; 4 of them had to have a double amputation. 31 servicemen were still receiving specialist medical care at the time of the interview. 39 servicemen had to adjust their career plans. The mean quality of life, measured by EQ-5D, had an index score of 0.72 (Dutch population norm: 0.88). The mean score on the LEFS was 58 (maximum score 80). Changes in mobility and occupation appeared to be predictive factors for quality of life.


The quality of life and functional level of Dutch military personnel who were injured in combat in Afghanistan seemed to be lower than in the general population after 2.3 years. For a large part this could be explained by the level of mobility and occupation.

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