Original research| Volume 96, ISSUE 7, P1255-1261, July 2015

Functional Independence After Inpatient Rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury Among Minority Children and Adolescents

Published:March 04, 2015DOI:



      To compare motor and cognitive functional independence scores between Hispanic, non-Hispanic black (NHB), and non-Hispanic white (NHW) children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation.


      Retrospective cohort study using the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation national dataset from the years 2002 to 2012.


      Inpatient rehabilitation units.


      Children (N=10,141) aged 6 months to 18 years who received inpatient rehabilitation for TBI.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Motor and cognitive functional independence after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation, adjusting for age, sex, admission function, length of stay, insurance, and region.


      Inpatient rehabilitation therapy improved functional independence for all children. Younger age, lower admission functional independence scores, and Medicaid insurance were associated with lower functional independence at discharge. Hispanic and NHB children had lower discharge cognitive scores compared with NHW children; however, differences were small and were partially explained by insurance status and region. Children who received rehabilitation therapy at pediatric facilities had greater cognitive improvement.


      While racial/ethnic disparities are small, minority children are more likely to be younger, to have Medicaid, and to be cared for at nonpediatric facilities, factors that increase their risk for lower functional outcomes.


      List of abbreviations:

      CI (confidence interval), DFQ (developmental functional quotient), NHB (non-Hispanic black), NHW (non-Hispanic white), TBI (traumatic brain injury), UDSMR (Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation)
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