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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1998 Jan;79(1):62-6.

Status of physiatry and physical medicine and rehabilitation departments in adult level I trauma centers.

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  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, USA.



To determine the involvement of physiatrists and physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) departments in the acute care of patients admitted to level I trauma centers.


An 18-question survey.


Adult, level I trauma center.


Physiatrists, administrative directors, and others involved in rehabilitation in their respective trauma centers. Surveys were mailed to 164 PM&R departments in level I trauma centers. One hundred sixteen responses (70.7%) were received. One hundred five responses (64.0% of total) were used.


The 18-item questionnaire covered topics such as number of staff (based at the trauma center) and consulting physiatrists, number of residents, rehabilitation personnel shortages, participation in multidisciplinary patient care rounds, and relationships between the trauma and rehabilitation services.


Eighty-five percent of respondents have at least one full-time or part-time physiatrist based in their PM&R departments. Physiatrists consult in 91% of the responding level I trauma centers. Residents rotate through 52% of responding PM&R departments. Forty-four percent of respondents reported staff shortages, with occupational therapy in greatest demand. Seventy-six percent of PM&R departments participate in multidisciplinary rounds with the trauma service. Eighty-nine percent of PM&R departments stated their relationship with the trauma service was excellent or good.


Physiatrists and other allied health personnel are integral members of the trauma care team in most level I trauma centers participating in this study. Further expansion should be encouraged to facilitate early and comprehensive rehabilitative care in all level I centers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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