Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):14, 95, 11, 2158-2166
Study examined the longitudinal effects of race/ethnicity on hospitalization among adults with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the 10-year period after initial injury. Data were extracted from the 2011 National SCI Model Systems database for 3,175 non-Hispanic White, 1,396 non-Hispanic African American, and 575 Hispanic adults with SCI who received rehabilitation at one of the SCI Model Systems centers. Hospitalization, including rate of hospitalization, number of hospitalizations, and number of days hospitalized during the previous 12 months was assessed at the first-, fifth-, and tenth-year follow-up interviews. Significant differences were found in rates of hospitalization at 1 and 5 years postinjury, with participants from Hispanic backgrounds reporting lower rates than either Whites or African Americans. At 10 years postinjury, no differences were noted in the rate of hospitalization between racial/ethnic groups; however, compared with Whites and Hispanics, African Americans with SCI had 13 and 16 more days of hospitalization, respectively. Compared with the first year postinjury, the rate of hospitalization declined over time among Whites, African Americans, and Hispanics; however, for African Americans, the number of days hospitalized increased by 12 days at 10 years versus 5 years postinjury. Racial/ethnic variation appears to exist in postinjury hospitalization for individuals with SCI. Potential explanations for these variations are discussed, and recommendations are made for potential changes to policy and clinical care.