Age, outcome, and rehabilitation costs after tetraplegia spinal cord injury

Academic Article


  • At 20 medical centers, 2099 consecutive adult patients with tetraplegia SCI were assessed at acute care admission, inpatient rehabilitation admission, and in-patient rehabilitation discharge. Age differences were examined by separating the sample into 11 age categories and conducting one way ANOVA's on treatment, medical expense, and outcome measures that included the FIM and the ASIA Motor Index Score. Analyses revealed that persons aged 35-55 showed the greatest improvement, and persons aged 70 and older showed the least improvement. SCI patients aged 18-34 had longer inpatient rehabilitation stays than patients aged 35-64, and incurred greater rehabilitation medical expenses than patients aged 65 and older. Acute care outcome and charges, and functional independence were unrelated to age. Patients younger than 30 were most often discharged to non-institutional settings and institutionalization rates were similar for persons aged 30-69. Present findings suggest that tetraplegia patients can be categorized into three distinct age groupings: 18-34, 35-64, and 65 and older. Findings also suggest that the ASIA Motor Index is more sensitive than the FIM for measuring changes during hospitalization in the tetraplegic population.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 22303609
  • Author List

  • Cifu DX; Seel RT; Kreutzer JS; Marwitz J; McKinley WO; Wisor D
  • Start Page

  • 177
  • End Page

  • 185
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 3