Dr Rivara and his colleagues are experts in the field of trauma care outcome studies. The prospective National Study on the Costs and Outcomes of Trauma database, from which this article derives, has provided key clinical studies including a sentinel article1 recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine on mortality rates in trauma centers vs nontrauma centers. This study of chronic pain in trauma patients is particularly relevant as physicians begin to understand pain as an overlooked disability in general, exemplified by increased awareness of pain as the “fifth vital sign” and the licensing requirement in California of a mandatory 12 hours of education in pain management for all physicians.
Eastman AB. Prevalence of Pain in Patients 1 Year After Major Trauma—Invited Critique. Arch Surg. 2008;143(3):288. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2007.63