British Columbia Burden of Injury

Injuries are a significant public health problem in BC. Every year about 1,600 British Columbians die due to injury, 42,000 are hospitalized, and an estimated 400,000 people throughout the province sustain some sort of injury. The cumulative effect of injury on a population is known as the burden of injury. Burden of injury data help policy makers and practitioners determine the effectiveness of current services in injury prevention and injury treatment, and provide direction about new interventions that would have the greatest impact. They also help provide estimates for recovery time across different injuries. However, very little is known about the burden of injury, making this an important priority for research.

Dr. Mariana Brussoni is leading a longitudinal study in BC to quantify the impacts of injury on individuals and on the health system. Drawing on her experience working in England with international experts in injury research and prevention, Brussoni is recruiting more than 1,400 injured people of all ages across urban and rural settings in BC. They will be followed for 12 months post-injury, with the research team tracking their quality of life and recovery, use of health and social services, and time away from school or work. The goal of this research is to more fully describe the various impacts of injury in British Columbia, and to identify areas where prevention and treatment interventions could make the biggest difference.