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J Wound Care. 2001 Mar;10(3):53-7.

Recovering maxillofacial trauma patients: the hidden problems.

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Regional Maxillofacial Unit, University Hospital, Aintree, Liverpool, UK.


This longitudinal study highlights the psychological and functional problems that can result from maxillofacial trauma. This is the first study to report outcome at one year. A total of 147 patients admitted for surgery following facial trauma were recruited over a seven-month period. Three questionnaires were used to record patient-derived levels of dysfunction: the Hospital Anxiety Depression scale, a modified University of Washington Quality of Life questionnaire and five non-validated facial trauma items. At one year 46 patients (31%) responded. Although there were significant improvements in scores from pre-operatively to one year, with all patients being discharged from outpatient follow-up, there was a substantial level of subjective symptomatology. Most notable was the level of anxiety and depression, which were present in 30% of the sample at both time points. Health-care professionals tend to underestimate the long-term effects of maxillofacial trauma. To improve patient care, greater appreciation of these problems is required at the time of initial management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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