Wan et al identified risk factors for unintentional injury recidivism. This can help identify patients who may benefit from preventive measures. The authors are from the University of California in San Francisco.


Intentional injuries included assault and suicide attempts.


Risk factors for unintentional injury recividism:

(1) mental illness

(2) substance abuse

(3) homelessness


Features of unintentional injury in the mentally ill:

(1) Injuries are most often from falls or from being hit by a car. The patients were less likely to be injured in a motor vehicle crash (perhaps because they did not have a car)

(2) These patients tended to have longer hospitalizations.

(3) These patients were more likely to be discharged to a skilled nursing facility rather than to home (this may reflect more severe traumatic injuries, or the fact that there may not be anyone at home to look after them).


Patients with mental illness benefit from interventions to reduce the risk of unintentional injury:

(1) avoidance of alcohol and drug abuse

(2) interventions to prevent homelessness

(3) selection of medications that do not impair awareness or decision making

(4) prevention of intentional injuries (also higher in patients with mental illness)


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