Gabbe BJ, Dipnall JF, Lynch JW, Rivara FP, Lyons RA, Ameratunga S, Brussoni M, Lecky FE, Bradley C, Simpson PM, Beck B, Demmler JC, Lyons J, Schneeberg A, Harrison JE

BMJ Open (2018) 8: e024755

Introduction: Traumatic injury is a leading contributor to the global disease burden in children and adolescents, but methods used to estimate burden do not account for differences in patterns of injury and recovery between children and adults. A lack of empirical data on postinjury disability in children has limited capacity to derive valid disability weights and describe the long-term individual and societal impacts of injury in the early part of life. The aim of this study is to establish valid estimates of the burden of non-fatal injury in children and adolescents.

Methods and analysis: Five longitudinal studies of paediatric injury survivors <18 years at the time of injury (Australia, Canada, UK and USA) and two whole-of-population linked administrative data paediatric studies (Australia and Wales) will be analysed over a 3-year period commencing 2018. Meta-analysis of deidentified patient-level data (n≈2,600) from five injury-specific longitudinal studies (Victorian State Trauma Registry; Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry; UK Burden of Injury; British Columbia Children’s Hospital Longitudinal Injury Outcomes; Children’s Health After Injury) and >1 million children from two whole-of-population cohorts (South Australian Early Childhood Data Project and Wales Electronic Cohort for Children). Systematic analysis of pooled injury-specific cohort data using a variety of statistical techniques, and parallel analysis of whole-of-population cohorts, will be used to develop estimated disability weights for years lost due to disability, establish appropriate injury classifications and explore factors influencing recovery.

Ethics and dissemination: The project was approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee project number 12 311. Results of this study will be submitted for publication in internationally peer-reviewed journals. The findings from this project have the capacity to improve the validity of paediatric injury burden measurements in future local and global burden of disease studies.

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