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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2019 April;55(2):191-8

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.18.05342-X

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Identifying clinical complexity in patients affected by severe acquired brain injury in neurorehabilitation: a cross sectional survey

Federico SCARPONI 1 , Mauro ZAMPOLINI 1, Chiara ZUCCHELLA 2, Stefano BARGELLESI 3, Chiara FASSIO 4, Francesca PISTOIA 5, Michelangelo BARTOLO 6, on behalf of C.I.R.C.LE (Comorbidità in Ingresso in Riabilitazione nei pazienti con grave CerebroLEsione acquisita) study group 

1 Department of Rehabilitation, San Giovanni Battista Hospital, Foligno, Perugia, Italy; 2 Unit of Neurology, University Hospital of Verona, Verona, Italy; 3 Unit of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation-Severe Brain Injuries Rehabilitation Unit, Ca’ Foncello Hospital, Treviso, Italy; 4 Unit of Rehabilitation, IRCSS Maugeri Foundation, Pavia, Italy; 5 Neurological Institute, Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy; 6 Unit of Neurorehabilitation, Department of Rehabilitation, HABILITA, Zingonia di Ciserano, Bergamo, Italy



BACKGROUND: Literature shows that occurrence of comorbidities in people with severe acquired brain injury (sABI) is a common problem in rehabilitation stay. Consequently, patients could require an increase of interventions for diagnosis and treatment of clinical conditions, with a reduction of the rehabilitative take in charge for both clinical and organizational aspects.
AIM: The first aim was to evaluate the rate of clinical conditions of sABI patients at admission in rehabilitation and the types of rehabilitative interventions performed in the first week; second objective was to explore the impact of clinical conditions on real rehabilitative take in charge.
DESIGN: Cross sectional study.
SETTING: Inpatient rehabilitation centers.
POPULATION: The study included data from 586 sABI patients.
METHODS: Collected data regarded anamnestic information, functional status assessed by means of Glasgow Outcome Scale, Levels of cognitive functioning, Early Rehabilitation Barthel Index, comorbidities at admission and type of rehabilitative interventions carried out in first week of rehabilitation stay. Spearman correlation coefficients were applied to detect possible correlations between the number of treatments in first week and clinical variables; through a multiple regression analysis the effect of patient’s characteristics on rehabilitative take in charge was explored.
RESULTS: Data from the sABI patients: mean age 55.1±17.1 years; etiology of sABI was vascular in 315 patients (53.8%), anoxic in 83 (14.2%), neoplastic in 17 (2.9%), infectious in 15 (2.6%), traumatic in 150 (25.6%); 6 subjects (1%) presented a mixed etiology. Need of cardiorespiratory monitoring, pressure sores, infections or presence of multi drug resistant bacteria were the most frequent comorbidities. Passive mobilization, sitting positioning, arousal/awareness stimulation, evaluation and management of dysphagia were the interventions most frequently carried out in the first week. The regression analysis showed that severe neurological and clinical conditions, acute organ failure, cardio-respiratory instability and paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity significantly limit access to rehabilitative sessions.
CONCLUSIONS: In sABI patients clinical comorbidities requiring elevated care assistance are frequent at admission in rehabilitation from acute wards and may interfere with rehabilitative take in charge.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: The knowledge of clinical complexity of sABI patients may improve their care pathways, promoting early and appropriate transition from acute care to rehabilitation settings.


KEY WORDS: Brain injuries; Comorbidity; Rehabilitation; Patient admission

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