Factors that prolong hospitalization of patients with spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a severe condition which can cause damage to the sensation as well as to the motor function of the individual. Many factors have been reported to affect the length of stay (LOS) of the SCI patient in the hospital or the rehabilitation center. These factors vary among different countries, and therefore the LOS also varies. The purpose of this review is to investigate the existing literature to detect factors which may prolong hospitalization of patients with SCI. Identifying these parameters can help minimize the length of hospital stay as well as the costs and also complete rehabilitation within a required period of time. The 40 studies that were included manifested that demographic factors such as age, gender and marital status did not seem to contribute to extended hospitalization whereas both severity and etiology of injury and secondary medical complications were significantly associated with longer LOS. Moreover, prolonged length of stay of SCI patients has been associated with hospital determinants, e.g. the institutional facility and the insurance status of the patient. However, since the studies that investigate the role of hospital factors on LOS are few, more studies are required on this subject in the future.
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