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Spinal cord injury in Italy: A multicenter retrospective study

  • M.Grazia Celani
    Affiliations
    Servizio per le Malattie Cerebrovascolari, Perugia (Celani, Ricci), Dipartimento di Geriatria e Riabilitazione, Parma (Zampolini, Franceschini), Dipartimento della Prevenzione, Ministero della Sanità, Roma (Spizzichino); and U.O. di Riabilitazione Intensiva Neuromotoria, Trevi, (Zampolini, Franceschini), Italy
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  • Lorenzo Spizzichino
    Affiliations
    Servizio per le Malattie Cerebrovascolari, Perugia (Celani, Ricci), Dipartimento di Geriatria e Riabilitazione, Parma (Zampolini, Franceschini), Dipartimento della Prevenzione, Ministero della Sanità, Roma (Spizzichino); and U.O. di Riabilitazione Intensiva Neuromotoria, Trevi, (Zampolini, Franceschini), Italy
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  • Stefano Ricci
    Affiliations
    Servizio per le Malattie Cerebrovascolari, Perugia (Celani, Ricci), Dipartimento di Geriatria e Riabilitazione, Parma (Zampolini, Franceschini), Dipartimento della Prevenzione, Ministero della Sanità, Roma (Spizzichino); and U.O. di Riabilitazione Intensiva Neuromotoria, Trevi, (Zampolini, Franceschini), Italy
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  • Mauro Zampolini
    Affiliations
    Servizio per le Malattie Cerebrovascolari, Perugia (Celani, Ricci), Dipartimento di Geriatria e Riabilitazione, Parma (Zampolini, Franceschini), Dipartimento della Prevenzione, Ministero della Sanità, Roma (Spizzichino); and U.O. di Riabilitazione Intensiva Neuromotoria, Trevi, (Zampolini, Franceschini), Italy
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  • Marco Franceschini
    Affiliations
    Servizio per le Malattie Cerebrovascolari, Perugia (Celani, Ricci), Dipartimento di Geriatria e Riabilitazione, Parma (Zampolini, Franceschini), Dipartimento della Prevenzione, Ministero della Sanità, Roma (Spizzichino); and U.O. di Riabilitazione Intensiva Neuromotoria, Trevi, (Zampolini, Franceschini), Italy
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  • for the Retrospective Study Group on SCI
  • Author Footnotes
    NO LABEL a. BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WCIH 9JR, UK.
    NO LABEL b. SPSS Inc, 233 S Wacker Dr, 11th Fl, Chicago, IL 60606.

      Abstract

      Celani MG, Spizzichino L, Ricci S, Zampolini M, Franceschini M, Retrospective Study Group on SCI. Spinal cord injury in Italy: a multicenter retrospective study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2001;82:589-96. Objective: To investigate certain factors influencing the length of stay (LOS) in a rehabilitation center, the incidence of pressure ulcers, and the neurologic improvement of patients with traumatic (T/SCI) and nontraumatic spinal cord injury (NT/SCI). Design: A multicenter retrospective study of patients with SCI admitted to rehabilitation centers between 1 January 1989 and 31 December 1994 (only first admissions). Setting: Seven Italian rehabilitation centers. Patients: A total of 859 consecutively admitted adult patients with SCI. Intervention: Examined medical records of patients admitted to rehabilitation centers. Main Outcome Measures: Pressure ulcers on admission as an indicator of nursing care in acute phase, LOS in rehabilitation centers, and neurologic improvement on discharge (using the Frankel classification system). Other measures included level of lesion, associated lesions (if T/SCI), surgical stabilization (if T/SCI), and time from the event to admission to a rehabilitation center. Results: In all cases, the time from event to admission to a rehabilitation center exceeded 30 days (average ± standard deviation: T/SCI, 54.6 ± 43.7d; NT/SCI, 166.9 ± 574d); pressure ulcers on admission were present in 34.1% of T/SCI and 17.1% of NT/SCI patients. The average LOS in a rehabilitation center was 143.1 ± 89.1 days for T/SCI and 91.7 ± 78.9 days for NT/SCI; Frankel grades improved by 1 or more in 34.4% of T/SCI and 34.1% of NT/SCI patients. The presence of pressure ulcers on admission, rehabilitation LOS, and neurologic improvement on discharge correlated highly with severe neurologic damage on admission in both T/SCI and NT/SCI patients as well as with management of the patient immediately before admission to a rehabilitation center, mainly in NT/SCI patients. Conclusions: Severe neurologic damage is the major determining factor in predicting neurologic recovery. Pressure ulcer prevention is statistically associated with neurologic improvement and the shortening of rehabilitation LOS. Patient management immediately before admission to rehabilitation has a statistical correlation with neurologic improvement in all patients studied and on both rehabilitation LOS and incidence of pressure ulcers in the NT/SCI patients. © 2001 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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