Patients with psychiatric diagnoses are at greater risk for traumatic injury than the general population. Current literature fails to characterize how premorbid behavioral health disorders (BHDs) complicate craniofacial trauma. This study aimed to describe the characteristics and outcomes of patients with premorbid BHD sustaining facial fractures.
All adults in the 2013-2016 Trauma Quality Improvement Program datasets with facial fractures were identified. Demographics, injury characteristics, fracture patterns, and in-hospital outcomes were compared in patients with and without premorbid BHDs. BHDs included major psychiatric illnesses, alcohol or drug use disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or dementia.
Twenty-five percent of the 240,104 subjects with facial fractures had at least one premorbid BHD. Assault (29.9% versus 23.9%, P< 0.001), self-inflicted injury (2.9% versus 1.2%, P< 0.001), and multiple facial fractures (40.2% versus 38.7%, P< 0.001) were more common among the BHD group. The BHD group displayed significantly higher rates of nearly all in-hospital complications, including pneumonia (4.3% versus 3.3%, P< 0.001), substance withdrawal (3.9% versus 0.3%, P< 0.001), unplanned intubation (1.5% versus 0.9%, P< 0.001) and unplanned transfer to the intensive care unit (ICU, 1.3% versus 0.8%, P< 0.001). BHD was strongly predictive of pneumonia, unplanned intubation, and unplanned ICU admission in multivariate analyses.
Patients with BHD represent a subset of facial trauma characterized by different mechanisms and patterns of injury and premorbid health status. BHDs are associated with higher in-hospital complication rates and resource utilization. Understanding the relationship between craniofacial trauma and premorbid BHD creates opportunities to improve morbidity and resource utilization in this group.

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