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  1. Chen, Ying-Ying MSN, RN
  2. Yang, Cheng-San PhD, MD
  3. Lee, Bih-O PhD, RN


Background: Few studies have tracked hand injury patients past the acute care period. Postdischarge tracking of hand injury patients may identify time points most patients require assistance, which can help direct interventions to reduce post-hand injury sequelae.


Objective: To examine hand injury patients' experiences during early recovery to illness perceptions, disabilities, and quality of life and to identify predictors of quality of life at 1 month and 3 months after hospital discharge.


Methods: This prospective observational study of hand injury patients was performed at a teaching hospital in Taiwan. Data were collected at patient discharge, 1 month, and 3 months after discharge, from January 2017 to October 2018. The variables measured included illness perceptions, disabilities, and quality of life.


Results: A total of 117 patients participated in the study. The patients reported more positive illness perceptions at 3 months versus 1 month after discharge. The impact of disabilities on patient work was significantly greater at 1 month than at 3 months after discharge. Quality of life was better at 3 months than at 1 month after discharge. Predictors of quality of life after hospital discharge were demographic variables, clinical variables, and illness perceptions. Patients with lower education reported poorer psychological quality of life after discharge.


Conclusion: Primary care providers should perform a comprehensive assessment of patients prior to their discharge. Patients should undergo regular follow-ups to reduce comorbidities and improve their outcomes.