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J Hand Surg Am. 1997 Jul;22(4):605-12.

Quality of life and functional outcome following brachial plexus injury.

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Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.


Thirty-two patients (3 women, 29 men) participated in a mailed questionnaire survey to evaluate long-term subjective, employment, and functional outcome following surgical treatment for brachial plexus injury. The mean age was 37 years and mean postinjury time was 7 years. The main outcome measures were overall life satisfaction, employment status, and the impact of the brachial plexus injury on life domains. Quality-of-life questions were adapted from the interviewer form of the U.S. General Social Survey. Considering overall life satisfaction, 25 patients (78%) reported at least moderate satisfaction and no patients reported extreme dissatisfaction. Ten patients reported that their injury did affect to a great deal their overall quality of life and slightly more than half the patients were employed at the time of the study. These outcomes were not affected by such patient factors as coverage by workers' compensation, litigation, pain, marital status, number of children, educational status, and the degree of functional recovery. These patient factors also did not alter the impact of the injury on overall life satisfaction. In spite of the devastating nature of these injuries, this patient population for the most part reported good quality of life with employment status predicted within the first year following injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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