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Rehabilitation Research and Practice
Volume 2013, Article ID 867250, 6 pages
Research Article

Social Support Contributes to Outcomes following Distal Radius Fractures

1Division of Plastic Surgery, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street, London, ON, Canada N6A 3K7
2Division of Orthopedic Surgery, Hand and Upper Limb Center, St. Joseph’s Health Care, University of Western Ontario, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, ON, Canada N6A 4L6

Received 26 May 2013; Revised 25 August 2013; Accepted 23 September 2013

Academic Editor: Ching-Yi Wu

Copyright © 2013 Caitlin J. Symonette et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Distal radius fractures are the most common fracture of the upper extremity and cause variable disability. This study examined the role of social support in patient-reported pain and disability at one year following distal radius fracture. Methods. The Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey was administered to a prospective cohort of 291 subjects with distal radius fractures at their baseline visit. Pearson correlations and stepwise linear regression models ( -to-remove 0.10) were used to identify whether social support contributes to wrist fracture outcomes. The primary outcome of pain and disability at one year was measured using the Patient Rated Wrist Evaluation. Results. Most injuries were low energy (67.5%) and were treated nonoperatively (71.9%). Pearson correlation analysis revealed that higher reported social support correlated with improved Patient Rated Wrist Evaluation scores at 1 year, , . Of the subscales within the Social Support Survey, emotional/informational support explained a significant proportion of the variance in 1-year Patient Rated Wrist Evaluation scores, , (1, 181) = 9.98, . Conclusion. Lower emotional/informational social support at the time of distal radius fracture contributes a small but significant percentage to patient-reported pain and disability outcomes.