Non-fatal injuries in rural Burkina Faso amongst older adults, disease burden and health system responsiveness: A cross-sectional household survey

John Whitaker*, Guy Harling, Ali Sie, Mamadou Bountogo, Lisa R. Hirschhorn, Jennifer Manne-Goehler, Till Bärnighausen, Justine Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the epidemiology of injury as well as patient-reported health system responsiveness following injury and how this compares with non-injured patient experience, in older individuals in rural Burkina Faso. Design: Cross-sectional household survey. Secondary analysis of the CRSN Heidelberg Ageing Study dataset. Setting: Rural Burkina Faso. Participants: 3028 adults, over 40, from multiple ethnic groups, were randomly sampled from the 2015 Nouna Health and Demographic Surveillance Site census. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Primary outcome was incidence of injury. Secondary outcomes were incidence of injury related disability and patient-reported health system responsiveness following injury. Results: 7.7% (232/3028) of the population reported injury in the preceding 12 months. In multivariable analyses, younger age, male sex, highest wealth quintile, an abnormal Generalised Anxiety Disorder score and lower Quality of Life score were all associated with injury. The most common mechanism of injury was being struck or hit by an object, 32.8%. In multivariable analysis, only education was significantly negatively associated with odds of disability (OR 0.407, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.997). Across all survey participants, 3.9% (119/3028) reported their most recent care seeking episode was following injury, rather than for another condition. Positive experience and satisfaction with care were reported following injury, with shorter median wait times (10 vs 20 min, p=0.002) and longer consultation times (20 vs 15 min, p=0.002) than care for another reason. Injured patients were also asked to return to health facilities more often than those seeking care for another reason, 81.4% (95% CI 73.1% to 87.9%) vs 54.8% (95% CI 49.9% to 53.6%). Conclusions: Injury is an important disease burden in this older adult rural low-income and middle-income country population. Further research could inform preventative strategies, including safer rural farming methods, explore the association between adverse mental health and injury, and strengthen health system readiness to provide quality care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere045621
JournalBMJ open
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 28 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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