Acute rehospitalizations during inpatient rehabilitation for spinal cord injury

Flora M. Hammond*, Susan D. Horn, Randall J. Smout, David Chen, Gerben Dejong, William Scelza, Amitabh Jha, Pamela H. Ballard, Jessica Bloomgarden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objectives: To investigate frequency of and reasons for readmission to acute care (RTAC) during inpatient rehabilitation after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI), and to identify factors associated with RTAC. Design: Prospective observational cohort. Setting: Inpatient rehabilitation. Participants: Individuals with SCI (N=1376) consecutively admitted for inpatient rehabilitation; 1032 randomly selected for model development; 344 selected for model cross-validation. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: RTAC, RTAC reasons, rehabilitation length of stay (LOS), discharge location and FIM, rehospitalization between discharge and year 1, and 1-year outcomes: FIM, Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique, and Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Results: Participants (n=116; 11%) experienced RTAC with a total 143 episodes - 96 patients experienced only 1 RTAC, while 14 had 2 RTACs, 5 had 3 RTACs, and 1 had 4 RTACs. The most common RTAC reasons were surgery (36%), infection (22%), noninfectious respiratory (14%), and gastrointestinal (8%). Mean days ± SD from rehabilitation admission to first RTAC was 27±30 days. Seventy-four (7%) patients had at least 1 RTAC for medical reasons and 46 (4%) for surgical reasons. Regression analyses indicated several variables were associated with RTACs: greater admission medical severity, lower admission cognitive FIM, pressure ulcer acquired in acute care, and study site. Medical RTACs were associated with higher body mass index, lower admission cognitive and motor FIM, payer, and study site. Predictors of surgical RTAC were longer time from injury to rehabilitation admission and study site. After controlling for the other variables, the only outcome RTAC influenced was longer rehabilitation LOS. Conclusions: Approximately 11% of SCI patients experience RTAC during the course of rehabilitation for a variety of medical and surgical reasons. RTACs are associated with longer rehabilitation LOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S98-S105
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Comorbidity
  • Patient readmission
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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