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Open Access Research article

Factors associated with discharge destination from acute care after acquired brain injury in Ontario, Canada

Amy Y Chen14, Brandon Zagorski13, Daria Parsons1, Rika Vander Laan1, Vincy Chan15 and Angela Colantonio12*

Author Affiliations

1 Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, 550 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 2A2, Canada

2 Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Rehabilitation Sciences Building, 160-500 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 1V7, Canada

3 Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Health Sciences Building, 155 College Street, Suite 425, Toronto, ON M5T 3M6, Canada

4 Undergraduate Medical Education, School of Medicine, Queen's University, 80 Barrie Street, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada

5 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Health Sciences Building, 155 College Street, Toronto, ON M5T 3M6, Canada

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BMC Neurology 2012, 12:16  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-16

Published: 24 March 2012

Abstract

Background

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.