Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Improved and standardized method for assessing years lived with disability after injury

JA Haagsma, S Polinder, RA Lyons, J Lund, V Ditsuwan, M Prinsloo, JL Veerman & EF van Beeck

Volume 90, Number 7, July 2012, 513-521

Table 1. Mean disability weightsa (DW) and proportions of injuries with lifelong consequences

Injury group DW for acute phase
Proportion with lifelong consequences (%)
DW for lifelong consequences
ED HDR ED HDR
Concussion 0.015 0.100 4 21 0.151
Other skull–brain injury 0.090 0.241 13 23 0.323
Open wound on head 0.013 0.209
Eye injury 0.002 0.256 0 0
Fracture of facial bone(s) 0.018 0.072
Open wound on face 0.013 0.210
Fracture/dislocation/sprain/strain of vertebrae/spine 0.133 0.258 0b
Whiplash injury/sprain of cervical spine 0.073 ND ND ND ND
Spinal-cord injury ND 0.676 ND 100 ND
Internal-organ injury 0.103 0.103
Fracture of rib/sternum 0.075 0.225
Fracture of clavicula/scapula 0.066 0.222 2 9 0.121
Fracture of upper arm 0.115 0.230 17 10 0.147
Fracture of elbow/forearm 0.031 0.145 0 8 0.074
Fracture of wrist 0.069 0.143 0 18 0.215
Fracture of hand/fingers 0.016 0.067 0 0 0.022
Dislocation/sprain/strain of shoulder/elbow 0.084 0.169 0 18 0.136
Dislocation/sprain/strain of wrist/hand/fingers 0.027 0.029 0 0b
Injury to nerves of upper extremity ND ND ND 0b
Complex soft-tissue injury of upper extremity 0.081 0.190 3 15 0.166
Fracture of pelvis 0.168 0.247 30 29 0.182
Fracture of hip 0.136 0.423 14 52 0.172
Fracture of femur shaft 0.129 0.280 46b 35 0.169
Fracture of knee/lower leg 0.049 0.289 23 34 0.275
Fracture of ankle 0.096 0.203 12 35 0.248
Fracture of foot/toes 0.014 0.174 8 39 0.259
Dislocation/sprain/strain of knee 0.109 0.159 8 0b 0.103
Dislocation/sprain/strain of ankle/foot 0.026 0.151 4 26 0.125
Dislocation/sprain/strain of hip 0.072 0.309 23 30 0.128
Injury to nerves of lower extremity ND ND 0 0a
Complex soft-tissue injury of lower extremity 0.093 0.150 10 13 0.080
Superficial injury (including contusions) 0.006 0.150
Open wound 0.013 0.093
Mild burn(s)c 0.055 0.191 0 0
Poisoning 0.245 0.245 0 0
Multitrauma ND ND ND ND ND
Foreign body 0.044 0.060
No injury after examination
Other and unspecified injury 0.111 0.212

ED, cases recorded attending emergency department; HDR, cases recorded in hospital discharge registers; ND, not determined (because the relevant data were missing or too scarce).

a Varying from 0 for  full health to 1 for worst possible health state.

b Value based on fewer than 10 cases.

c Patients with severe burns would have been treated at specialized burn units, which were not included in the study.