Background: Injury morbidity data are collected through hospital-based surveillance in many countries. We assessed the extent of non-fatal injures treated outside a hospital. Methods: Data from the first provincial health household interview survey of Hunan, China, conducted in 2013, were used. Injury events were identified and included as medically significant when any of the following circumstances occurred in the prior 14 days: (i) receiving medical treatment from a doctor at a hospital following an injury; (ii) receiving medical treatment by self or others outside a hospital following an injury (e.g. taking medications, or receiving massage or hot compress); and/or (iii) being off work or school, or in bed for more than 1 day, following an injury. The 2-week prevalence of non-fatal injuries and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. We calculated the proportion of injury events treated outside a hospital and the reasons for not visiting a hospital for injury events occurring during the previous 2 weeks. Results: We captured 56 injury events during the previous 2 weeks. The weighted injury prevalence was 4.9 per 1000 persons during the last 2 weeks (95% confidence interval: 2.9-6.9 per 1000 persons). Of the 56 events, 14 (weighted proportion 41.2%) were treated outside a hospital. Primary explanations for skipping hospital visits included perceiving injuries were too minor and economic limitations to travel to hospitals or seek treatment. Conclusion: Results imply the burden of non-fatal injury may be underestimated by hospital-based surveillance systems such as that used in China.
Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Child, Child, Preschool, China, Female, Health Care Surveys, Health Services Accessibility, Humans, Infant, Interviews as Topic, Male, Middle Aged, Self Care, Wounds and Injuries, Young Adult