There is significant worldwide variation in the time that people spend in acute care and inpatient rehabilitation hospitals following SCI. Currently available data indicate that length of stay (LOS) has been decreasing significantly in the U.S. in the 2000s, while increasing in South Korea (Jang et al., 2011).
Up-to-date international data is needed, and new analyses are required to better understand the variation in acute care and inpatient rehabilitation LOS following SCI. New research-based knowledge is also needed about the individual-level, system level, and cultural factors that shape post-SCI rehabilitation LOS and experiences in different national contexts (Kao et al., 2022a). Such knowledge can help shape the delivery of SCI clinical care and inform the provision of post-rehabilitation community supports and services.
There is an ongoing need for more detailed information about how people with SCI experience their inpatient rehabilitation stays, and how their experiences and outcomes may differ depending on the time that they spend in the rehabilitation setting. Research suggests that longer inpatient rehabilitation LOS is associated with greater functional outcomes following SCI (Khosravi et al., 2022; Kao et al., 2022b). However, more information is needed about potential diminishing returns on long-term community living outcomes among people with SCI who remain in institutional rehabilitation settings for long periods of time. A critical factor that is likely to shape the rehabilitation LOS, experiences, and outcomes of people who have experienced a SCI, is whether or not their rehabilitation occurs in countries or jurisdictions in which there are established, specific clinical systems of SCI care (Divanoglou et al., 2010).
NIDILRR establishes this priority to generate international collaboration and research-based knowledge about variation in rehabilitation LOS and intensity, and how this variation is associated with the experience and long-term outcomes among people with SCI.
For further information on priorities, see p. 6 of the FOA in Attached Files.
Estimated Total Program Funding: