Characteristics of the Best Rehabilitation Programs Appear Difficult to Measure
Categories: Rehabilitation and Recovery
What are the characteristics of effective and efficient rehabilitation treatment programs?
Past Studies have assumed that scales of functional gain and length of stay are adequate measures of the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of rehabilitation treatment programs. Program effectiveness refers to
This study examined information from 77 rehabilitation programs regarding 37,692
The researchers found no relationship between functional gain and the amount of available staff or the intensity of therapies or facility size. Facilities with higher staffing intensity did not produce significantly more functional gain or shorter lengths of
Who May Be Affected By These Findings
Individuals with traumatic brain injuries and families searching for a rehabilitation provider, health care administrators, health care providers, researchers, quality improvement staff.
The researchers found that highly staffed rehabilitation programs did not have shorter LOS. Authors suggest the possible relationships between LOS and financial incentives. Funding was provided as a base rate per patient costs, rather than depending on an individual’s clinical needs. The researchers state that the rehabilitation programs with the highest charged base rates received greater funding and could afford larger amounts of staff and longer LOS. This may explain why there was not an association between staffing levels, LOS, and functional gains.
The characteristics of effective and efficient rehabilitation treatment programs could not be identified using the available data on functional gain and gross program characteristics. The researchers found no evidence to support the idea that rehabilitation programs, which reported greater functional gains, were better programs or provided more or better quality of care. Additionally, they found no relationship between the functional gain rates and program size, available staff or the intensity of therapy. The researchers state that future studies using more specific subgroups and sophisticated research methods may generate more answers.
Find This Study
Johnston, M. V., Wood, K. D., & Fiedler, R. (2003). Characteristics of effective and efficient rehabilitation programs. Archives of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation, 84, 410-411.