Factors associated with discharge destination from acute care after moderate-to-severe traumatic injuries in Norway: a prospective population-based study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonInjury Epidemiology. 2023, 10 . 10.1186/s40621-023-00431-y
Background Previous studies have demonstrated that the trauma population has needs for rehabilitation services that are best provided in a continuous and coordinated way. The discharge destination after acute care is the second step to ensuring quality of care. There is a lack of knowledge regarding the factors associated with the discharge destination for the overall trauma population. This paper aims to identify sociodemographic, geographical, and injury-related factors associated with discharge destination following acute care at trauma centers for patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic injuries. Methods A multicenter, population-based, prospective study was conducted with patients of all ages with traumatic injury [New Injury Severity Score (NISS) > 9] admitted within 72 h after the injury to regional trauma centers in south-eastern and northern Norway over a 1-year period (2020). Results In total, 601 patients were included; a majority (76%) sustained severe injuries, and 22% were discharged directly to specialized rehabilitation. Children were primarily discharged home, and most of the patients ≥ 65 years to their local hospital. Depending on the centrality of their residence [Norwegian Centrality Index (NCI) 1–6, where 1 is most central], we found that patients residing in NCI 3–4 and 5–6 areas sustained more severe injuries than patients residing in NCI 1–2 areas. An increase in the NISS, number of injuries, or a spinal injury with an Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) ≥ 3 was associated with discharge to local hospitals and specialized rehabilitation than to home. Patients with an AIS ≥ 3 head injury (RRR 6.1, 95% Confidence interval 2.80–13.38) were significantly more likely to be discharged to specialized rehabilitation than patients with a less severe head injury. Age < 18 years was negatively associated with discharge to a local hospital, while NCI 3–4, preinjury comorbidity, and increased severity of injuries in the lower extremities were positively associated.