• health-related quality of life;
  • prevalence;
  • risk-taking behavior;
  • unintentional injury

ABSTRACT Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of lifetime unintentional-injury experience and evaluate the quality of life of unintentional-injury victims, to provide useful data for the development of interventions aimed at decreasing the incidence of unintentional injuries.

Design, sample, and methods: This study utilized data obtained from cross-sectional surveys of 24,327 Korean individuals aged 19–65 years, performed using face-to-face interviews. Demographic characteristics, unintentional-injury experience, attributes of health behavior, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) questions were included in the study instruments.

Results: About 11.8% of the subjects had experienced an unintentional injury that required hospitalization at least once in their lifetime. Being older, being male, having less education and lower income, working in a blue-collar job, and being enrolled in medical aid programs were associated with increased likelihood of having an unintentional injury. Among the HRQoL and risk-taking behavior variables, limitations in daily activities, suicide ideation, and binge drinking were significantly associated with injury experience.

Conclusion: Public health efforts to prevent unintentional injuries should target high-risk populations such as males, those with low incomes and education levels, and binge drinkers. Efforts should also be made to enhance the HRQoL of injury victims.