Age, outcome, and rehabilitation costs after paraplegia caused by traumatic injury of the thoracic spinal cord, conus medullaris, and cauda equina

David X. Cifu, Mark E. Huang*, Stephanie A. Kolakowsky-Hayner, Ron T. Seel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

The object of this study was to investigate the relationships of age on neurologic and functional outcome, hospitalization length of stay (LOS), and hospital charges after spinal cord injury (SCI). At 20 medical centers, 2,169 consecutive adult patients with paraplegia SCI were assessed in acute care and inpatient rehabilitation. Outcome and treatment measures included the ASIA motor index score, functional independence measure, discharge to community ratio, LOS, and hospital charges. Age differences were examined by separating the sample into 11 age categories and conducting one-way analyses of variance on treatment, medical expense, and outcome measures that included the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and ASIA motor index scores. Cramer's statistic was used to derive a chi-square value that indicated whether variables differed significantly in terms of age. Post-hoc Tukey tests were also performed. Age-related differences were found with multiple demographic variables. Significant differences between age categories were found with regard to the following treatment measures: ASIA motor index scores at acute-care admission and at discharge, rehabilitation LOS, inpatient rehabilitation hospitalization charges, total LOS, total hospitalization charges, FIM scores at inpatient rehabilitation admission and discharge, FIM change, and FIM efficiency. In conclusion, in patients with paraplegia, age appears to adversely affect functional outcome, rehabilitation LOS, and hospital costs. However, neurologic recovery as defined by the ASIA motor scores does not appear to be related to age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-815
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

Keywords

  • Age
  • Costs
  • Outcome
  • Paraplegia
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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