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BMC Public Health. 2007 Nov 8;7:317.

The UK burden of injury study - a protocol. [National Research Register number: M0044160889].

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  • 1School of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea, SA2 8PP, UK.



Globally and nationally large numbers of people are injured each year, yet there is little information on the impact of these injuries on people's lives, on society and on health and social care services. Measurement of the burden of injuries is needed at a global, national and regional level to be able to inform injured people of the likely duration of impairment; to guide policy makers in investing in preventative measures; to facilitate the evaluation and cost effectiveness of interventions and to contribute to international efforts to more accurately assess the global burden of injuries.


A prospective, longitudinal multi-centre study of 1333 injured individuals, atttending Emergency Departments or admitted to hospital in four UK areas: Swansea, Surrey, Bristol and Nottingham. Specified quotas of patients with defined injuries covering the whole spectrum will be recruited. Participants (or a proxy) will complete a baseline questionnaire regarding their injury and pre-injury quality of life. Follow up occurs at 1, 4, and 12 months post injury or until return to normal function within 12 months, with measures of health service utilisation, impairment, disability, and health related quality of life. National estimates of the burden of injuries will be calculated by extrapolation from the sample population to national and regional computerised hospital in-patient, emergency department and mortality data.


This study will provide more detailed data on the national burden of injuries than has previously been available in any country and will contribute to international collaborative efforts to more accurately assess the global burden of injuries. The results will be used to advise policy makers on prioritisation of preventive measures, support the evaluation of interventions, and provide guidance on the likely impact and degree of impairment and disability following specific injuries.

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