Collaborative Care for Injured Older Adults: The Trauma Medical Home Randomized Clinical Trial

Ben L. Zarzaur*, Emma Holler, Damaris Ortiz, Anthony Perkins, Sue Lasister, Sujuan Gao, Dustin D. French, Babar Khan, Malaz Boustani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Importance: Older adults with recent injuries can have impaired long-term biopsychosocial function and may benefit from interventions adapted to their needs. Objective: To determine if a collaborative care intervention, Trauma Medical Home (TMH), improved the biopsychosocial function of older patients in the year after injury. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a single-blinded, randomized clinical trial conducted at 4 level I trauma centers in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Madison, Wisconsin. Between October 2017 and October 2021, patients aged 50 years and older with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) of 9 or greater and without traumatic brain or spinal cord injury were enrolled. Exclusions were significant brain injury or a spinal cord injury with a persistent neurologic deficit at the time of enrollment, extensive burns, pregnancy, incarceration, neurodegenerative disease, visual or auditory impairment that would preclude study participation, a life expectancy of less than 1 year, significant alcohol or drug use history, and acute stroke during admission. Of 10276 patients screened, 430 were randomized and 299 completed 12-month follow-up. Data were analyzed from March to July 2023. Intervention: Intervention patients received 6 months of TMH delivered by a nurse care coordinator guided by an interdisciplinary team (trauma surgeon, pulmonary critical care and geriatrician physicians, nurses, and psychologist) in partnership with primary care. The care coordinator used standard protocols to monitor and treat biopsychosocial symptoms. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes were Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36 (SF-36) score and Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) score at 12 months. Secondary outcomes were Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) score, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale-7 (GAD-7) score, and health care utilization. Results: A total of 429 participants (228 [53.1%] female; mean [SD] age, 69.3 [10.8] years; mean [SD] ISS, 12.3 [4.6]) completed baseline assessments and were randomized. Follow-up was 76% (n = 324) at 6 months and 70% (n = 299) at 12 months. There were no differences between the TMH and usual care groups at 12 months in SF-36 Physical Component Summary score (mean [SD], 40.42 [12.82] vs 39.18 [12.43]), SF-36 Mental Component Summary score (mean [SD], 53.92 [10.02] vs 53.21 [10.82]), or SPPB score (mean [SD], 8.00 [3.60] vs 8.28 [3.88]). Secondary outcomes were also no different. Planned subgroup analysis revealed patients with baseline symptoms of anxiety or depression (high GAD-7 and PHQ-9 scores) experienced improvement in the Mental Component Summary score when randomized to the TMH intervention. Conclusions and Relevance: The TMH intervention did not significantly influence quality of life, depressive and anxiety symptoms, or physical function of older adults with injury at 12 months. Subgroup analysis showed positive impact in patients with a high burden of anxiety and depression symptoms at enrollment. Collaborative care interventions may improve long-term outcomes of select patients, but further research is needed. Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT03108820.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJAMA surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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