WCPT Africa Region Conference System, 9th WCPT Africa Region Congress

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Factors affecting length of Hospital stay for people with spinal cord injuries at Kanombe Military Hospital, Rwanda
patrick B BWANJUGU

Last modified: 2012-02-07



Background: Spinal cord injury is a devastating condition, and its consequences impact on many facets of an individual’s life. It occurs most frequently to young, healthy individuals around the world. In patients with spinal cord injuries, increased length of stay is often as a result of secondary complications.

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine factors affecting length of hospital stay for individuals with spinal cord injuries at Kanombe Military Hospital, Rwanda. The objectives of the study were to identify the socio-demographic profile of individuals with SCI, the occurrence of secondary complications, and to determine the relationship between socio-demographic factors and occurrence of secondary complications with length of stay.

Relevance: It was anticipated that the results of the study could be used to supplement the existing knowledge and understanding of the rehabilitation professionals and other medical professionals at Hospital about issues that need to be targeted by the rehabilitation professionals such as physiotherapists in addressing the factors affecting LOS through measures that could optimise the treatment and thus reducing the cost of management of patients with SCI

Method: The study utilized a quantitative retrospective design where by the records of 124 individuals with spinal cord injuries that were discharged from the hospital between 1st January 1996 and 31st December 2007 their medical folders were perused to collect data. Information were collected and captured on a data gathering sheet.

 Analysis: Data were numerically coded and captured using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 15.0. The chi-square test was used to identify whether there was any associations (alpha) level set at 0.05. The linear regression analysis was used to determine factors affecting the length of hospital stay.

Results: The results found that 97.6% were males.  The results further found out that 81% of the patients with SCI were suffering from pressure sores. Employment status and the occurrence of pressure sores were significantly associated with the length of stay (p=0.021 and p=0.000 respectively). A strong relationship was noted between pressure sores and length of stay (R= 0.703).

Conclusion: There is a strong need for all members of the rehabilitation team to devise and implement effective measures to prevent the development of pressure sores, in patients with spinal cord injuries in the study setting.

Implications: The results of the study are challenging and inform physiotherapists and other medical professionals in Rwanda to develop strategies for combating down the tremendous effects of pressure sores caused by SCI.

Key words: Spinal cord injuries, Length of stay, Rwanda

Funding Source Acknowledgment: The Government of Rwanda through its branch the Students financing agency for Rwanda (SFAR) in the ministry of education for granting me with research funds   

Ethics Approval:  Ethical approval of the study was obtained from relevant committees at the University of the Western Cape, from Ministry of defense and from the Hospital authorities.


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