• Factors Associated with Length of Stay and Discharge Disposition in Older Trauma Patients

      Brotemarkle, Rebecca Ann; Resnick, Barbara (2013)
      Factors Associated with Length of Stay and Discharge Disposition in Older Trauma Patients Abstract Background: Trauma patients over the age of 65 are living longer and staying active at older ages. Older trauma patients tend to have longer lengths of stay (LOS) and to be discharged more often to rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities. Understanding the factors that influence LOS and discharge disposition is needed to guide interventions focused on decreasing LOS and assuring that patients are discharged to the least restrictive setting. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of patient and system related factors on LOS and discharge disposition for older adults hospitalized for traumatic injury. Methods: This was a secondary data analysis using descriptive data from rehabilitation notes during inpatient encounters. Data analysis was done using structural equation modeling and logistic regression. Results: 132 patients were randomly selected from 1387 patients admitted to a level 1 trauma center. The majority were Caucasian (83.9%, n = 111), 46.9% (n = 62) were males with an average age of 78.3 (S.D. = 9.7) years. On average participants had 2.29 (S.D. = 1.96) comorbidities and approximately two thirds (65.9%, n = 87) were rated as having severe injuries. The average length of stay was 4.3 (S.D. = 4.0) days with 57.6% (n = 76) of patients discharged to a facility. The model had a fair fit to the data and demonstrated that younger patients who had more comorbidities, were likely to have more pain. Older patients with more comorbidities, higher injury severity, more days from admission to evaluation, and lower pain were more likely to have a longer LOS which explained 37% of the variance in LOS. Based on logistic regression analysis, having longer LOS (O.R. = .049, 95% CI .008 - .301, p=.001) and more pain (O.R. = .531, 95% CI .310 - .908, p=.021) were associated with decreased likelihood of returning home versus being discharged to a facility. Conclusion: Increased focus on pain and pain management, consideration of comorbidities, and decreasing time from admission to initial evaluation by rehabilitation therapists among older trauma patients may help to decrease LOS and facilitate discharge to the least restrictive setting.