Relationship of physical therapy inpatient rehabilitation interventions and patient characteristics to outcomes following spinal cord injury: The SCIRehab project

Laura Teeter, Julie Gassaway, Sally Taylor, Jacqueline LaBarbera, Shari McDowell, Deborah Backus, Jeanne M. Zanca, Audrey Natale, Jordan Cabrera, Randall J. Smout, Scott E D Kreider, Gale Whiteneck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background/objective: Examine associations of type and quantity of physical therapy (PT) interventions delivered during inpatient spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation and patient characteristics with outcomes at the time of discharge and at 1 year post-injury. Methods: Physical therapists delivering routine care documented details of PT interventions provided. Regression modeling was used to predict outcomes at discharge and 1 year post-injury for a 75% subset; models were validated with the remaining 25%. Injury subgroups also were examined: motor complete low tetraplegia, motor complete paraplegia, and American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) D motor incomplete tetra-/paraplegia. Results: PT treatment variables explain more variation in three functionally homogeneous subgroups than in the total sample. Among patients with motor complete low tetraplegia, higher scores for the transfer component of the discharge motor Functional Independence Measure () are strongly associated with more time spent working on manual wheelchair skills. Being male is the most predictive variable for the motor FIM score at discharge for patients with motor complete paraplegia. Admission ASIA lower extremity motor score (LEMS) and change in LEMS were the factors most predictive for having the primary locomotion mode of "walk" or "both (walk and wheelchair)" on the discharge motor FIM for patients with AIS D injuries. Conclusion: Injury classification influences type and quantity of PT interventions during inpatient SCI rehabilitation and is a strong predictor of outcomes at discharge and 1 year post-injury. The impact of PT treatment increases when patient groupings become more homogeneous and outcomes become specific to the groupings. Note: This is the second of nine articles in the SCIRehab series.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-526
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

Keywords

  • Employment
  • Functional outcome practice-based evidence
  • Paraplegia
  • Participation
  • Physical therapy
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation
  • SCI model systems
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Tetraplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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