Dr. Susan Woodruff has been picked as a co-principal investigator along with researchers from Naval Health Research Center to conduct a large study of quality of life (QOL) issues among combat-injured military personnel.
The survival rate of those injured in combat in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) is the highest in modern history primarily because of advanced protective gear and rapid effective medical care. To date, approximately 50,000 military personnel have been combat injured in these conflicts, with 16,000 of them so severely wounded that they likely would not have survived in previous conflicts. However, little is known about the psychosocial aftermath, including PTSD symptomology, depression, survival guilt, residual pain, alcohol/drug misuse, and other QOL issues. This longitudinal cohort study will follow close to 10,000 injured service members over a 6-year period to track changes in QOL and other psychosocial outcomes, and describe variations in those changes as they relate to participants’ socio-demographic factors, injury characteristics, clinical/diagnostic measures including traumatic brain injury and PTSD, and medical procedures and services received.
This study will be among the first longitudinal population-based investigations of QOL outcomes after combat injury, and will provide a basis upon which large-scale analyses can be conducted that may inform future care and policy. The study design has recently been published in the peer-reviewed journal Military Medicine.
- More about the study can be found at www.wwrecoveryproject.org.