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J Surg Res. 2013 Sep;184(1):541-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2013.03.069. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Rehabilitation after trauma; does age matter?

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  • 1Division of Trauma, Critical Care, and Acute Care Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85727, USA. bjoseph@surgery.arizona.edu



Variability exits in the ability to predict overall recovery after trauma and inpatient rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to identify factors predicting functional improvement in trauma patients undergoing inpatient rehabilitation.


We performed a 3-y retrospective cohort analysis on a prospectively collected database of all trauma patients discharged from a level I trauma center to a single inpatient rehabilitation center. Patient's Functional Independence Measures (FIM) scores on hospital discharge and on discharge from the rehabilitation center were collected. Delta FIM was defined as the difference in FIM between rehabilitation center discharge and hospital discharge. Multiple linear regressions were performed to identify hospital admission factors associated with delta FIM.


We included 160 patients, 69% were male, mean age 54.6 ± 22 y, and median Injury Severity Score 14 [10-50]. Based on rehabilitation admission FIM scores, 29 were totally dependent and 131 were partially dependent. The mean change in FIM was 39.4 ± 13. Age, gender, Glasgow Coma Scale on presentation, Injury Severity Score, systolic blood pressure on presentation, and intensive care unit length of stay were not predictive of delta FIM. Hospital length of stay and head Abbreviated Injury Score on hospital admission were negative predictors of delta FIM.


In our study, age as an independent factor was not predictive of functional outcome after injury. The extent of head injury continues to negatively affect the overall functional improvement based on FIM.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Age and rehabilitation; Functional Independence Measure; Functional improvement; Predicting outcomes after trauma; Rehabilitation after trauma

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