Caitlin Hartsgrove, MD
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School/Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation
Highlands, New Jersey, United States
Jenieve Guevarra-Fernandez, BA, MBS
Medical Student / MS4
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Edgewater, New Jersey, United States
Steven Kirshblum, MD
Chair of PM&R.
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
West Orange, New Jersey, United States
To measure discharge outcomes, length of stay (LOS), and functional (GG) scores for patients admitted to acute inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) during the COVID-19 pandemic and to compare these parameters between a COVID-19 cohort (stratified by COVID-19 status) and the first quarter of 2020 (Q1).
Systematic retrospective chart review of consecutive patients admitted to IRF from 4/1-5/9/2020 (COVID-19 cohort, n=364) and compared with data from 1/2-2/19/2020 (Q1-Control, n=740).
Demographic information revealed differences in the COVID-19 cohort, of being younger (p=0.009), male (p=0.041), and Asian and Black (p=0.012). There were no differences between the COVID-19/+ versus COVID-19/- patients. LOS was significantly longer in the COVID-19 cohort compared to Q1 (p< 0.0001), and not affected by COVID-19 status (COVID-19/+, p=0.005, COVID-19/-, p< 0.00001). There were no significant differences among the discharge outcomes (home, acute care transfer, longer term care facility) during the two timeframes, including when stratified for COVID-19 status. GG scores including eating, toileting, dressing, sit-to-stand, and sit-to-lying during the COVID-19 timeframe had consistently lower baseline (admission) scores (p=0.001, < 0.0001, 0.002, < 0.001, < 0.001 respectively), but the groups' functionality equalized by time of discharge (p=0.11, 0.065, 0.246, 0.225, 0.185).
Despite patients entering the IRF with lesser functional capability (GG scores), and with a slightly longer LOS, COVID-19 cohort patients were discharged home at the same rate and at comparable levels of function to Q1 patients, regardless of COVID-19 status. These data indicate the benefits of IRF for the functional residual deficits seen during the COVID-19 pandemic timeframe.