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1.  Older adults with acquired brain injury: a population based study 
BMC Geriatrics  2013;13:97.
Acquired brain injury (ABI), which includes traumatic (TBI) and non-traumatic brain injury (nTBI), is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The objective of this study was to examine the trends, characteristics, cause of brain injury, and discharge destination of hospitalized older adults aged 65 years and older with an ABI diagnosis in a population with universal access to hospital care. The profile of characteristics of patients with TBI and nTBI causes of injury was also compared.
A population based retrospective cohort study design with healthcare administrative databases was used. Data on acute care admissions were obtained from the Discharge Abstract Database and patients were identified using the International Classification of Diseases – Version 10 codes for Ontario, Canada from April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2010. Older adults were examined in three age groups – 65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85+ years.
From 2003/04 to 2009/10, there were 14,518 episodes of acute care associated with a TBI code and 51, 233 episodes with a nTBI code. Overall, the rate of hospitalized TBI and nTBI episodes increased with older age groups. From 2007/08 to 2009/10, the percentage of patients that stayed in acute care for 12 days or more and the percentage of patients with delayed discharge from acute care increased with age. The most common cause of TBI was falls while the most common type of nTBI was brain tumours. The percentage of patients discharged to long term care and complex continuing care increased with age and the percentage discharged home decreased with age. In-hospital mortality also increased with age. Older adults with TBI and nTBI differed significantly in demographic and clinical characteristics and discharge destination from acute care.
This study showed an increased rate of acute care admissions for both TBI and nTBI with age. It also provided additional support for falls prevention strategies to prevent injury leading to cognitive disability with costly human and economic consequences. Implications for increased numbers of people with ABI are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3849645  PMID: 24060144
Brain injury; Epidemiology; Outcomes
2.  Walking-related outcomes for individuals with traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injury inform physical therapy practice 
To describe and compare patient demographics, inpatient lengths of stay (LOS), and walking-related functional outcomes of individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) of traumatic (TSCI) and non-traumatic (NTSCI) etiologies. To contrast these features between individuals who walked from those who did not walk at discharge from inpatient rehabilitation.
Prospective observational study; comparisons between TSCI and NTSCI, walkers and non-walkers. Information collected as a pilot project within a provincial SCI informatics strategy.
Rehabilitation hospital specialized for SCIs.
Adults with NTSCI (n = 31) or TSCI (n = 59) admitted to inpatient rehabilitation, 2007–2009.
Outcome measures
Lower-extremity motor scores (LEMS), spinal cord independence measure version III (SCIM-III) total and mobility subscores, functional independence measure (FIM), Length of Stay (LOS) at inpatient facilities.
Groups (NTSCI vs. TSCI) did not differ in the proportion of individuals that achieved “walker” status (SCIM-III mobility indoors (MI) score ≥3 at rehab discharge) (P = 0.41, 48.9% overall). Inpatient LOS at both acute care and rehabilitation facilities did not differ between groups; however, TSCI non-walkers had longer inpatient rehabilitation LOS than TSCI walkers. Among walkers, improvement was shown on all three mobility subscores of the SCIM-III between admission and discharge from rehabilitation; highest significance was shown on the SCIM-III MI. Walking status at discharge (SCIM-III MI) was most strongly correlated with LEMS at rehab admission (r = 0.71, P < 0.001).
Walking outcomes are comparable among individuals with NTSCI vs. TSCI admitted for specialized SCI rehabilitation. Routine use of SCIM-III mobility items for assessment of walking outcome is recommended for inpatient rehabilitation.
PMCID: PMC3459566  PMID: 23031174
Myelopathy; Spinal cord injuries; Traumatic; Non-traumatic; Outcome measures; Rehabilitation; Walking; Mobility; Locomotor training; Paraplegia; Tetraplegia
3.  Acute Care Alternate-Level-of-Care Days Due to Delayed Discharge for Traumatic and Non-Traumatic Brain Injuries 
Healthcare Policy  2012;7(4):41-55.
Alternate-level-of-care (ALC) days represent hospital beds that are taken up by patients who would more appropriately be cared for in other settings. ALC days have been found to be costly and may result in worse functional outcomes, reduced motor skills and longer lengths of stay in rehabilitation. This study examines the factors that are associated with acute care ALC days among patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). We used the Discharge Abstract Database to identify patients with ABI using International Classification of Disease-10 codes. From fiscal years 2007/08 to 2009/10, 17.5% of patients with traumatic and 14% of patients with non-traumatic brain injury had at least one ALC day. Significant predictors include having a psychiatric co-morbidity, increasing age and length of stay in acute care. These findings can inform planning for care of people with ABI in a publicly funded healthcare system.
PMCID: PMC3359084  PMID: 23634162
4.  The utility of administrative data for neurotrauma surveillance and prevention in Ontario, Canada 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:584.
Surveillance of neurotrauma events is necessary to guide the development and evaluation of effective injury prevention initiatives. The aim of this paper is to review potential sources of existing population-based data to inform neurotrauma prevention in Canada, using sources available in Ontario as an example. Data sources, including administrative data holdings from Ontario’s publicly funded health care system and ongoing national surveys, were reviewed to determine the degree of relevance for neurotrauma surveillance, using standards outlined by the World Health Organization as a framework.
Five key data sources were identified for neurotrauma surveillance. Five other sources were considered useful; cause of injury was not identifiable in 5 additional sources; and 4 sources were not relevant for surveillance purposes.
We provide information about which existing data sources are most relevant for neurotrauma surveillance and research, as well as examine the strengths and limitations of these sources. Administrative data can be used to facilitate surveillance of neurotrauma and are considered both useful and cost effective for the development and evaluation of injury prevention programs.
PMCID: PMC3532139  PMID: 23098419
Prevention; Surveillance; Spinal cord injuries; Brain injuries; Data sources
5.  Direct cost associated with acquired brain injury in Ontario 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:76.
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) from traumatic and non traumatic causes is a leading cause of disability worldwide yet there is limited research summarizing the health system economic burden associated with ABI. The objective of this study was to determine the direct cost of publicly funded health care services from the initial hospitalization to three years post-injury for individuals with traumatic (TBI) and non-traumatic brain injury (nTBI) in Ontario Canada.
A population-based cohort of patients discharged from acute hospital with an ABI code in any diagnosis position in 2004 through 2007 in Ontario was identified from administrative data. Publicly funded health care utilization was obtained from several Ontario administrative healthcare databases. Patients were stratified according to traumatic and non-traumatic causes of brain injury and whether or not they were discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation center. Health system costs were calculated across a continuum of institutional and community settings for up to three years after initial discharge. The continuum of settings included acute care emergency departments inpatient rehabilitation (IR) complex continuing care home care services and physician visits. All costs were calculated retrospectively assuming the government payer’s perspective.
Direct medical costs in an ABI population are substantial with mean cost in the first year post-injury per TBI and nTBI patient being $32132 and $38018 respectively. Among both TBI and nTBI patients those discharged to IR had significantly higher treatment costs than those not discharged to IR across all institutional and community settings. This tendency remained during the entire three-year follow-up period. Annual medical costs of patients hospitalized with a brain injury in Ontario in the first follow-up year were approximately $120.7 million for TBI and $368.7 million for nTBI. Acute care cost accounted for 46-65% of the total treatment cost in the first year overwhelming all other cost components.
The main finding of this study is that direct medical costs in ABI population are substantial and vary considerably by the injury cause. Although most expenses occur in the first follow-up year ABI patients continue to use variety of medical services in the second and third year with emphasis shifting over time from acute care and inpatient rehabilitation towards homecare physician services and long-term institutional care. More research is needed to capture economic costs for ABI patients not admitted to acute care.
PMCID: PMC3518141  PMID: 22901094
6.  Factors associated with discharge destination from acute care after acquired brain injury in Ontario, Canada 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:16.
The aim of this paper is to examine factors associated with discharge destination after acquired brain injury in a publicly insured population using the Anderson Behavioral Model as a framework.
We utilized a retrospective cohort design. Inpatient data from provincial acute care records from fiscal years 2003/4 to 2006/7 with a diagnostic code of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and non-traumatic brain injury (nTBI) in Ontario, Canada were obtained for the study. Using multinomial logistic regression models, we examined predisposing, need and enabling factors from inpatient records in relation to major discharge outcomes such as discharge to home, inpatient rehabilitation and other institutionalized care.
Multinomial logistic regression revealed that need factors were strongly correlated with discharge destinations overall. Higher scores on the Charlson Comorbidity Index were associated with discharge to other institutionalized care in the nTBI population. Length of stay and special care days were identified as markers for severity and were both strongly positively correlated with discharge to other institutionalized care and inpatient rehabilitation, compared to discharge home, in both nTBI and TBI populations. Injury by motor vehicle collisions was found to be positively correlated with discharge to inpatient rehabilitation and other institutionalized care for patients with TBI. Controlling for need factors, rural location was associated with discharge to home versus inpatient rehabilitation.
These findings show that need factors (Charlson Comorbidity Index, length of stay, and number of special care days) are most significant in terms of discharge destination. However, there is evidence that other factors such as rural location and access to supplemental insurance (e.g., through motor vehicle insurance) may influence discharge destination outcomes as well. These findings should be considered in creating more equitable access to healthcare services across the continuum of care.
PMCID: PMC3402989  PMID: 22443681

Results 1-6 (6)