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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Functioning at Discharge and Follow-Up Among Patients With Motor Complete Spinal Cord Injury

Published:August 02, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2014.07.398

      Abstract

      Objective

      To examine racial and ethnic differences in self-care and mobility outcomes for persons with a motor complete, traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) at discharge and 1-year follow-up.

      Design

      Retrospective cohort study.

      Setting

      Sixteen rehabilitation centers contributing to the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) database.

      Participants

      Adults with traumatic, motor complete SCI (N=1766; American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale grade A or B) enrolled in the SCIMS between 2000 and 2011. Selected cases had complete self-reported data on race and ethnicity (non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, or Hispanic) and motor FIM scores assessed at inpatient rehabilitation admission, discharge, and 1-year follow-up.

      Interventions

      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Functional outcomes were measured by FIM self-care and mobility scores on a 1 to 7 FIM scale, at discharge and 1-year follow-up.

      Results

      Multiple regression models stratified by neurologic category and adjusted for sociodemographic and injury characteristics assessed racial and ethnic group differences in FIM self-care and mobility change scores at discharge and 1-year follow-up. At discharge, non-Hispanic black participants with tetraplegia and paraplegia had significantly poorer gains in FIM self-care and mobility scores relative to non-Hispanic white and Hispanic participants. At 1-year follow-up, similar FIM self-care and mobility change scores were found across racial and ethnic groups within each neurologic category.

      Conclusions

      Non-Hispanic white and Hispanic participants had comparatively more improvement in self-care and mobility during inpatient rehabilitation compared with non-Hispanic black participants. At 1-year follow-up, no differences in self-care and mobility outcomes were observed across racial and ethnic groups. Additional research is needed to identify potential modifiable factors that may contribute to racially and ethnically different patterns of functional outcomes observed during inpatient rehabilitation.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      CI (confidence interval), SCI (spinal cord injury), SCIMS (Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems)
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