Study finds neighborhood environment key to injury recovery for black men

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Black men are disproportionately affected by injuries in the United States. This disparity is stark given that injuries are one of the top ten causes of death. Data shows that injured Black men from inner-city neighborhoods experience higher injury mortality, years of lost life expectancy, and psychological symptoms that persist after initial injuries are treated.

Although much research has examined individual characteristics that predict poor recovery from injury, fewer studies have focused on the social and physical characteristics of the environment and their impact on the recovery of injury survivors.

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) focuses on injured Black men’s perceptions of their injury recovery environments, including how unsafe they feel and the variable availability of resources recovery in their neighborhoods. The results highlight the importance of the neighborhood environment in post-injury recovery and the role of social support and resource allocation to injury survivors thereafter. The study has implications for the need for changes that might better support patients facing the consequences of serious injury in the context of neighborhood-level adversity.

“Our findings raise important considerations about the hospitalization and discharge experiences of injury survivors. Survivors expressed significant barriers to recovery and the importance of their social networks but limited resources available to them. Our participants expressed a deep human need to be listened to and treated with respect,” says Marta Bruce, Ph.D., RN, of Penn Nursing and critical care nurse at University of Pennsylvania Hospital, lead author of the paper. . .

“This research underscores the importance of intervention at the critical window of the inpatient experience prior to discharge for increased empathic communication, better coordination of social work and mental health services, and better planning for life challenges. issues raised by our participants,” says Therese S. Richmond, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Andrea B. Laporte Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Research and Innovation at Penn Nursing, and co-author of the ‘study. “Clinicians must consider that an injury represents a traumatic disruption in the lives of survivors and that the healing journey is affected by social and environmental factors outside of hospital walls.”

The results of the study were published in an article entitled “Injured Black Men’s Perceptions of the Recovery Environment”, in Social sciences and medicine. The paper’s co-authors include Connie M. Ulrich, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Lillian S. Brunner Chair in Medical and Surgical Nursing, Professor of Nursing, and Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. health; and Jessica Webster, MS, LPC, both of Penn Nursing.


Return to work and road to recovery after serious injury for black men


More information:

Marta M. Bruce et al, Injured Black Men’s Perceptions of the Recovery Environment, Social sciences and medicine (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114608

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University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

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Study finds neighborhood environment key to recovery for black men from injury (2022, January 12)
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