Bottom Line: Survivors of gunshot wounds reported negative outcomes years after being shot in this observational study. The study included about 180 gunshot wound survivors who were patients at an urban trauma center and who were surveyed by telephone up to 10 years following injury. Researchers report that, compared to before being shot, gunshot wound survivors had increased unemployment and alcohol and substance use, and nearly half screened positive for probable posttraumatic stress disorder. Gunshot wound survivors also scored lower on measures of physical health function and mental health compared with the general population. Limitations of the study include that most gunshot wound survivors couldn't be contacted by telephone despite multiple attempts. Researchers also didn't account for educational level and socioeconomic status, two potential factors that could influence the results. These findings suggest a role for long-term physical and mental health follow-up in this unique patient population.
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Authors: Michael A. Vella, M.D., Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and coauthors.
Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Michael A. Vella, M.D., email Katie Delach at Katie.Delach@pennmedicine.upenn.edu. The full study, commentary and podcast are linked to this news release.
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