Objective: To investigate changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) during the first year after injury in elderly Taiwanese women who had fractured a hip, vertebra, distal forearm, or multiple sites. Design: Longitudinal cohort study. Setting: Personal or telephone interviews of patients from 3 teaching hospitals. Participants: Women (N=347; mean age ± SD, 78.0±6.6y) who had sustained a fracture of the hip, vertebra, or distal forearm due to a fall participated in the baseline assessment, in which both current and prefracture HRQOL data were collected. At 6 and 12 months after the fracture, 285 and 254 women, respectively, completed the follow-up assessments. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure: The 4 domains of physical capacity, psychological well-being, social relationships, and environment of the brief version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire were assessed. Results: After adjusting for prefracture HRQOL scores and baseline characteristics, women with a hip fracture showed a significant improvement in physical capacity (3.5 points) and a significant decline in social relationships (-3.7 points). Relative to women with a hip fracture at 12 months after injury, those with a vertebral fracture exhibited significantly greater improvement (5.2 points) in physical capacity; those with a distal forearm fracture had significantly greater improvements in physical capacity (11.5 points), psychological well-being (8.4 points), social relationships (7.2 points), and environment (10.9 points), while those with multiple fractures displayed significantly greater improvement in physical capacity (16.5 points), psychological well-being (13.3 points), and environment (10.3 points). Conclusions: Among the 4 fracture types in elderly women, hip fractures may result in the smallest improvement in the physical domain and the greatest declines in the psychological, social, and environmental domains during the first year. The magnitude of the impact of each fracture type varied across different domains.
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