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    Patient handling and transportation from site of injury to tertiary trauma centres in Nepal following acute traumatic spinal cord injury: a descriptive study
    (Springer Nature, 2022-09-10) Shrestha, Saraswati; Shrestha, Kritan; Groves, Christine C.; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine
    Study design: Descriptive study. Objectives: To describe patient handling at injury site, number of healthcare centre transfers to reach tertiary trauma centre, modes of transportation, and time from injury to reaching tertiary trauma centres among individuals with acute traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI). Setting: Acute SCI rehabilitation centre, Nepal. Methods: All individuals with new tSCI admitted for rehabilitation over period of 1 year were eligible for enrolment. Following written, informed consent, enroled individuals participated in structured one-on-one interview. Data collected included demographics, injury details, pre-hospital handling techniques, and transportation specifics to tertiary trauma centre. Results: In total, 211 individuals were enroled in the study. Eight (4%) individuals were assisted by first responders or traffic police, with majority (n = 203, 96%) assisted by untrained individuals. One was transferred from injury site using spinal motion restriction measures. Half were transported exclusively by ambulance while others used combinations of transportation. Six (3.4%) individuals were cared for by trained medical person during transport. Half required two or more hospital transfers prior to reaching a tertiary trauma centre. In total, 98 individuals required >24 h to reach the tertiary trauma centre. Conclusions: Individuals sustaining a tSCI in Nepal often experience improper handling, multiple hospital transfers, and prolonged time to reach tertiary trauma centres following acute tSCI. Further expanding emergency medical response systems throughout the country, training and equipping first responders in spinal motion restriction techniques, and establishing clear referral pathways for individuals with suspected tSCI are warranted. Development in these specific areas may reduce morbidity and mortality following acute tSCI.
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    The Value of High Intensity Locomotor Training Applied to Patients With Acute-Onset Neurologic Injury
    (Elsevier, 2022) Fahey, Meghan; Brazg, Gabrielle; Henderson, Christopher E.; Plawecki, Abbey; Lucas, Emily; Reisman, Darcy S.; Schmit, Brian D.; Hornby, T. George; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine
    Long-standing research in animal models and humans with stroke or incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI) indicate that specific physical training variables, such as the specificity and amount of practice, may influence neurologic recovery and locomotor function. More recent data highlight the contributions of exercise intensity, as estimated indirectly by cardiovascular exertion, as potentially more important than previously considered. The effects of exercise intensity are well described in neurologically intact individuals, although confusion regarding the definitions of intensity and safety concerns have limited its implementation during physical rehabilitation of patients with neurologic injury. The purpose of this review is to delineate some of the evidence regarding the effects of exercise intensity during locomotor training in patients with stroke and iSCI. We provide specific definitions of exercise intensity used within the literature, describe methods used to ensure appropriate levels of exertion, and discuss potential adverse events and safety concerns during its application. Further details on the effects of locomotor training intensity on clinical outcomes, and on neuromuscular and cardiovascular function will be addressed as available. Existing literature across multiple studies and meta-analyses reveals that exercise training intensity is likely a major factor that can influence locomotor function after neurologic injury. To extend these findings, we describe previous attempts to implement moderate to high intensity interventions during physical rehabilitation of patients with neurologic injury, including the utility of specific strategies to facilitate implementation, and to navigate potential barriers that may arise during implementation efforts.
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    Determining the Minimally Clinically Important Difference for the Disability Rating Scale in Persons With Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury
    (Mary Ann Liebert, 2023-07-04) Hammond, Flora M.; Ketchum, Jessica M.; Patni, Vipul Vinod; Nejadnik, Bijan; Bates, Damien; Weintraub, Alan H.; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine
    The Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSE) is accepted as the primary outcome measure in registrational studies for traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Disability Rating Scale (DRS) is used to assess functional progress from initial acute injury, through rehabilitation and reintegration into the community and life. For these reasons, the DRS is an alternative measure for assessing meaningful global outcomes in chronic TBI. The objective of this study was to determine the minimally clinically important difference (MCID) for the DRS in chronic TBI, by determining the magnitude of DRS change associated with the MCID for the GOSE of 1 point. This study is a retrospective analysis of the multi-center, prospective, longitudinal, Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems National Database of persons with outcomes at 1, 2, and 5 years and every 5 years thereafter post-injury. Spearman's correlations for dynamic and static relationships between the DRS and GOSE were significant. For the 1-point MCID for the GOSE, the dynamic MCID estimate for the DRS of a −0.68-point change was calculated as the mean DRS change associated with the difference of the GOSE score between year 1 and year 2 (score range, 3–8), using all persons in the study (n = 11,102), whereas the exploratory static MCID estimate for the DRS of −1.28 points was calculated from the slope of the best-fit line between the DRS and GOSE at year 1 follow-up (score range, 3–8; n = 13,415). The final MCID for the DRS was calculated by using the triangulation method (i.e., the arithmetic mean of the dynamic and exploratory static MCID estimates), which resulted in a −1.0-point change. The significant correlation between the DRS and GOSE has allowed for the establishment of a −1.0-point MCID for the DRS, which supports the use of the DRS as an alternative primary outcome measure for chronic TBI research studies, including clinical trials.
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    Gains in Daily Stepping Activity in People With Chronic Stroke After High-Intensity Gait Training in Variable Contexts
    (Oxford University Press, 2022) Hornby, T. George; Plawecki, Abbey; Lotter, Jennifer K.; Scofield, Molly E.; Lucas, Emily; Henderson, Christopher E.; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine
    Objective: Many physical therapist interventions provided to individuals with chronic stroke can lead to gains in gait speed or endurance (eg, 6-Minute Walk Test [6MWT]), although changes in objective measures of participation are not often observed. The goal of this study was to determine the influence of different walking interventions on daily stepping (steps per day) and the contributions of demographic, training, and clinical measures to these changes. Methods: In this secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial, steps per day at baseline and changes in steps per day following 1 of 3 locomotor interventions were evaluated in individuals who were ambulatory and >6 months after stroke. Data were collected on 58 individuals who received ≤30 sessions of high-intensity training (HIT) in variable contexts (eg, tasks and environments; n = 19), HIT focused on forward walking (n = 19), or low-intensity variable training (n = 20). Primary outcomes were steps per day at baseline, at post-training, and at a 3-month follow-up, and secondary outcomes were gait speed, 6MWT, balance, and balance confidence. Correlation and regression analyses identified demographic and clinical variables associated with steps per day. Results: Gains in steps per day were observed across all groups combined, with no between-group differences; post hoc within-group analyses revealed significant gains only following HIT in variable contexts. Both HIT groups showed gains in endurance (6MWT), with increases in balance confidence only following HIT in variable contexts. Changes in steps per day were associated primarily with gains in 6MWT, with additional associations with baseline 6MWT, lower-extremity Fugl-Meyer scores, and changes in balance confidence. Conclusion: HIT in variable contexts elicited gains in daily stepping, with changes primarily associated with gains in gait endurance. Impact: Providing HIT in variable contexts appears to improve measures of participation (eg, daily stepping) that may be associated with clinical measures of function. Gains in multiple measures of mobility and participation with HIT in variable contexts may improve the efficiency and value of physical therapy services.
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    Comorbid Conditions Among Adults 50 Years and Older With Traumatic Brain Injury: Examining Associations With Demographics, Healthcare Utilization, Institutionalization, and 1-Year Outcomes
    (Wolters Kluwer, 2019) Kumar, Raj G.; Olsen, Jennifer; Juengst, Shannon B.; Dams-OʼConnor, Kristen; OʼNeil-Pirozzi, Therese M.; Hammond, Flora M.; Wagner, Amy K.; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine
    Objectives: To assess the relationship of acute complications, preexisting chronic diseases, and substance abuse with clinical and functional outcomes among adults 50 years and older with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Design: Prospective cohort study. Participants: Adults 50 years and older with moderate-to-severe TBI (n = 2134). Measures: Clusters of comorbid health conditions empirically derived from non-injury International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes, demographic/injury variables, and outcome (acute and rehabilitation length of stay [LOS], Functional Independence Measure efficiency, posttraumatic amnesia [PTA] duration, institutionalization, rehospitalization, and Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOS-E) at 1 year). Results: Individuals with greater acute hospital complication burden were more often middle-aged men, injured in motor vehicle accidents, and had longer LOS and PTA. These same individuals experienced higher rates of 1-year rehospitalization and greater odds of unfavorable GOS-E scores at 1 year. Those with greater chronic disease burden were more likely to be rehospitalized at 1 year. Individuals with more substance abuse burden were most often younger (eg, middle adulthood), black race, less educated, injured via motor vehicle accidents, and had an increased risk for institutionalization. Conclusion: Preexisting health conditions and acute complications contribute to TBI outcomes. This work provides a foundation to explore effects of comorbidity prevention and management on TBI recovery in older adults.
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    Are Burns a Chronic Condition? Examining Patient Reported Outcomes up to 20 Years after Burn Injury – A Burn Model System National Database Investigation
    (Wolters Kluwer, 2022) Abouzeid, Cailin A.; Wolfe, Audrey E.; Ni, Pengsheng; Carrougher, Gretchen J.; Gibran, Nicole S.; Hammond, Flora M.; Holavanahalli, Radha; McMullen, Kara A.; Roaten, Kimberly; Suman, Oscar; Stewart, Barclay T.; Wolf, Steven; Zafonte, Ross; Kazis, Lewis E.; Ryan, Colleen M.; Schneider, Jeffrey C.; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine
    Background: People living with burn injury often face long-term physical and psychological sequelae associated with their injuries. Few studies have examined the impacts of burn injuries on long-term health and function, life satisfaction, and community integration beyond 5 years postinjury. The purpose of this study was to examine these outcomes up to 20 years after burn injury. Methods: Data from the Burn Model System National Longitudinal Database (1993-2020) were analyzed. Patient-reported outcome measures were collected at discharge (preinjury status recall) and 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, and 20 years after injury. Outcomes examined were the SF-12/VR-12 Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary, Satisfaction with Life Scale, and Community Integration Questionnaire. Trajectories were developed using linear mixed models with repeated measures of outcome scores over time, controlling for demographic and clinical variables. Results: The study population included 421 adult burn survivors with a mean age of 42.4 years. Lower Physical Component Summary scores (worse health) were associated with longer length of hospital stay, older age at injury and greater time since injury. Similarly, lower Mental Component Summary scores were associated with longer length of hospital stay, female sex, and greater time since injury. Satisfaction with Life Scale scores decrease negatively over time. Lower Community Integration Questionnaire scores were associated with burn size and Hispanic/Latino ethnicity. Conclusion: Burn survivors' physical and mental health and satisfaction with life worsened over time up to 20 years after injury. Results strongly suggest that future studies should focus on long-term follow-up where clinical interventions may be necessary.
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    Prism Adaptation Treatment for Right-Sided and Left-Sided Spatial Neglect: A Retrospective Case-Matched Study
    (Elsevier, 2023-03-21) Rich, Timothy J.; Pylarinos, Marinos; Parrott, Devan; Chen, Peii; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine
    Objective: To compare the effectiveness of prism adaptation treatment (PAT) between patients with right- and left-sided spatial neglect (SN). Design: Retrospective case-matched design. Setting: Inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and facilities. Participants: A total of 118 participants were selected from a clinical dataset of 4256 patients from multiple facilities across the United States. Patients with right-sided SN (median age: 71.0 [63.5-78.5] years; 47.5% female; 84.8% stroke, 10.1% traumatic/nontraumatic brain injury) were matched 1:1 with patients with left-sided SN (median age: 70.0 [63.0-78.0] years; 49.2% female; 86.4% stroke, 11.8% traumatic/nontraumatic brain injury) based on age, neglect severity, overall functional ability at admission, and number of PAT sessions completed during their hospital stay. Intervention: Prism adaptation treatment. Main outcome measures: Primary outcomes were pre-post change on the Kessler Foundation Neglect Assessment Process (KF-NAP) and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). Secondary outcomes were whether the minimal clinically important difference was achieved for pre-post change on the FIM. Results: We found greater KF-NAP gain for patients with right-sided SN than those with left-sided SN (Z = 2.38, P=.018). We found no differences between patients with right-sided and left-sided SN for Total FIM gain (Z=-0.204, P=.838), Motor FIM gain (Z=-0.331, P=.741), or Cognitive FIM gain (Z=-0.191, P=.849). Conclusions: Our findings suggest PAT is a viable treatment for patients with right-sided SN just as it is for patients with left-sided SN. Therefore, we suggest prioritizing PAT within the inpatient rehabilitation setting as a treatment to improve SN symptoms regardless of brain lesion side.
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    Increasing the Amount and Intensity of Stepping Training During Inpatient Stroke Rehabilitation Improves Locomotor and Non-Locomotor Outcomes
    (Sage, 2022) Henderson, Christopher E.; Plawecki, Abbey; Lucas, Emily; Lotter, Jennifer K.; Scofield, Molly; Carbone, Angela; Jang, Jeong H.; Hornby, T. George Hornby; FIRST-Indiana team; Baumgartner, Christina; Breuninger, William; England, Emily; Keys, Amanda; Meier, Jennifer; Nobbe, Carolyn; Pylitt, Alison; Shoger, Lindsay; Wilkie, Kelly; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine
    Background: The efficacy of traditional rehabilitation interventions to improve locomotion post-stroke, including providing multiple exercises targeting impairments and activity limitations, is uncertain. Emerging evidence rather suggests attempts to prioritize stepping practice at higher cardiovascular intensities may facilitate greater locomotor outcomes. Objective: The present study was designed to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of high-intensity training (HIT) to usual care during inpatient rehabilitation post-stroke. Methods: Changes in stepping activity and functional outcomes were compared over 9 months during usual-care (n = 131 patients < 2 months post-stroke), during an 18-month transition phase with attempts to implement HIT (n = 317), and over 12 months following HIT implementation (n = 208). The transition phase began with didactic and hands-on education, and continued with meetings, mentoring, and audit and feedback. Fidelity metrics included percentage of sessions prioritizing gait interventions and documenting intensity. Demographics, training measures, and outcomes were compared across phases using linear or logistic regression analysis, Kruskal-Wallis tests, or χ2 analysis. Results: Across all phases, admission scores were similar except for balance (usual-care>HIT; P < .02). Efforts to prioritize stepping and achieve targeted intensities during HIT vs transition or usual-care phases led to increased steps/day (P < .01). During HIT, gains in 10-m walk [HIT median = 0.13 m/s (interquartile range: 0-0.35) vs usual-care = 0.07 m/s (0-0.24), P = .01] and 6-min walk [50 (9.3-116) vs 2.1 (0-56) m, P < .01] were observed, with additional improvements in transfers and stair-climbing. Conclusions: Greater efforts to prioritize walking and reach higher intensities during HIT led to increased steps/day, resulting in greater gains in locomotor and non-locomotor outcomes.
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    Societal Participation of People With Traumatic Brain Injury Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A NIDILRR Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Study
    (Elsevier, 2023) Venkatesan, Umesh M.; Adams, Leah M.; Rabinowitz, Amanda R.; Agtarap, Stephanie; Bombardier, Charles H.; Bushnik, Tamara; Chiaravalloti, Nancy D.; Juengst, Shannon B.; Katta-Charles, Sheryl; Perrin, Paul B.; Pinto, Shanti M.; Weintraub, Alan H.; Whiteneck, Gale G.; Hammond, Flora M.; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine
    Objective: To examine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on societal participation in people with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Design: Cross-sectional retrospective cohort. Setting: National TBI Model Systems centers, United States. Participants: TBI Model Systems enrollees (N=7003), ages 16 and older and 1-30 years postinjury, interviewed either prepandemic (PP) or during the pandemic (DP). The sample was primarily male (72.4%) and White (69.5%), with motor vehicle collisions as the most common cause of injury (55.1%). Interventions: Not applicable. Main outcome measure: The 3 subscales of the Participation Assessment with Recombined Tools-Objective: Out and About (community involvement), Productivity, and Social Relations. Results: Out and About, but not Productivity or Social Relations, scores were appreciably lower among DP participants compared to PP participants (medium effect). Demographic and clinical characteristics showed similar patterns of association with participation domains across PP and DP. When their unique contributions were examined in regression models, age, self-identified race, education level, employment status, marital status, income level, disability severity, and life satisfaction were variably predictive of participation domains, though most effects were small or medium in size. Depression and anxiety symptom severities each showed small zero-order correlations with participation domains across PP and DP but had negligible effects in regression analyses. Conclusions: Consistent with the effect of COVID-19 on participation levels in the general population, people with TBI reported less community involvement during the pandemic, potentially compounding existing postinjury challenges to societal integration. The pandemic does not appear to have altered patterns of association between demographic/clinical characteristics and participation. Assessing and addressing barriers to community involvement should be a priority for TBI treatment providers. Longitudinal studies of TBI that consider pandemic-related effects on participation and other societally linked outcomes will help to elucidate the potential longer-term effect the pandemic has on behavioral health in this population.
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    Comparison of Common Outcome Measures for Assessing Independence in Patients Diagnosed with Disorders of Consciousness: A Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Study
    (Mary Ann Liebert, 2022) Snider, Samuel B.; Kowalski, Robert G.; Hammond, Flora M.; Izzy, Saef; Shih, Shirley L.; Rovito, Craig; Edlow, Brian L.; Zafonte, Ross D.; Giacino, Joseph T.; Bodien, Yelena G.; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine
    Patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC) after traumatic brain injury (TBI) recover to varying degrees of functional dependency. Dependency is difficult to measure but critical for interpreting clinical trial outcomes and prognostic counseling. In participants with DoC (i.e., not following commands) enrolled in the TBI Model Systems National Database (TBIMS NDB), we used the Functional Independence Measure (FIM®) as the reference to evaluate how accurately the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOSE) and Disability Rating Scale (DRS) assess dependency. Using the established FIM-dependency cut-point of <80, we measured the classification performance of literature-derived GOSE and DRS cut-points at 1-year post-injury. We compared the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) between the DRSDepend, a DRS-derived marker of dependency, and the data-derived optimal GOSE and DRS cut-points. Of 18,486 TBIMS participants, 1483 met inclusion criteria (mean [standard deviation (SD)] age = 38 [18] years; 76% male). The sensitivity of GOSE cut-points of ≤3 and ≤4 (Lower Severe and Upper Severe Disability, respectively) for identifying FIM-dependency were 97% and 98%, but specificities were 73% and 51%, respectively. The sensitivity of the DRS cut-point of ≥12 (Severe Disability) for identifying FIM-dependency was 60%, but specificity was 100%. The DRSDepend had a sensitivity of 83% and a specificity of 94% for classifying FIM-dependency, with a greater AUROC than the data-derived optimal GOSE (≤3, p = 0.01) and DRS (≥10, p = 0.008) cut-points. Commonly used GOSE and DRS cut-points have limited specificity or sensitivity for identifying functional dependency. The DRSDepend identifies FIM-dependency more accurately than the GOSE and DRS cut-points, but requires further validation.