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Facility-Based Programs Appear to Differ Nationwide

Categories: Recovery - Long Term

The Question

How do the characteristics of facility-based programs compare nationwide?

Past Studies

Past Studies show that the amount of time that individuals with traumatic brain injury spend in inpatient rehabilitation has shortened. It is common for individuals to require medical and therapy services after completing their inpatient rehabilitation programs. Researchers have found that continuing rehabilitation after the inpatient stay can be helpful for some individuals. As a result, postacute and community integration programs have played an increasing role in the rehabilitation process. Service settings for postacute rehabilitation options vary. One such program is a “facility-based” program (also known as community-based program). Individuals come to a facility-based program for services, but live elsewhere. No studies have compared the qualities of facility-based programs in the United States for similarities or differences.

This Study

This study surveyed 49 facility-based programs for individuals with brain injuries in the United States. The researchers gathered data with a telephone survey tool that they developed called the Community Integration Program Questionnaire (CIPQ). The CIPQ was designed to identify some of the measurable characteristics of community integration programs for individuals with brain injury.

The researchers found that the characteristics of the facility-based programs differed tremendously. The amount of individuals at each facility varied from 4 to 450. The amount of time that staff spent in team meetings ranged from 10 to 120 minutes per individual each month. The individuals’ lengths of stays at the facilities were from 0.07 to 420 months (35 years). Of particular interest because these are community integration programs, the amount of time the individuals spent in the community was reported as zero to 100%.

Who May Be Affected By These Findings

Individuals with traumatic brain injury, healthcare providers, discharge planners, community integration specialists, and researchers.

Caveats

At the time of this study, it was not known how useful the CIPQ is as a measurement tool. Further, the researchers revised the CIPQ while this study took place. The CIPQ had not been tested to determine the extent to which it measures what it is designed to measure (validity). The CIPQ had also not been evaluated to find out to what degree it produces the same results over time or with different test administrators (reliability).

Bottom Line

The researchers found that the characteristics of facility-based programs nationwide appear to differ greatly. As the importance of facility-based programs has increased, the researchers suggest that future studies address identification of which qualities affect rehabilitation outcomes and cost-effectiveness.

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Find This Study

Glenn, M., Goldstein, R., Selleck, E. A., & Rotman, M. (2004). Characteristics of facility-based community integration programs for people with brain injury. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 19, 482-493.

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