The impact of comorbidities and complications on burn injury inpatient rehabilitation outcomes

PM R. 2013 Feb;5(2):114-21. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2012.07.014. Epub 2012 Sep 12.


Objective: To examine the impact of comorbidities and complications on burn inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRF) outcomes.

Design: A retrospective cross-sectional study.

Setting: Inpatient rehabilitation hospitals.

Patients: A total of 4572 patients with a primary diagnosis of burn injury from the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation database from 2002 to 2010. METHODS OR INTERVENTIONS: Regression analyses were used to determine whether 3 different comorbidity measures (Charlson Comorbidity Index, Elixhauser Comoribidity Index, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Comorbidity Tiers) and 1 complication measure improved the predictive model (c-statistic) for each outcome measure.

Main outcome measurements: Community discharge, Functional Independence Measure (FIM) gain, length of stay efficiency, transfer to acute care within the first 3 days of IRF stay, and transfer to acute care for all time periods.

Results: For all outcomes, there was no difference between the Standard Model and the models that include the comorbidity and complication variables as measured by the c-statistic confidence intervals.

Conclusions: Comorbidities and complications did not significantly affect burn IRF outcomes. Future research is needed to examine the impact of comorbidities and complications on outcomes of other IRF populations to better understand the implications for current and future health care policy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Burns / epidemiology
  • Burns / physiopathology
  • Burns / rehabilitation*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Rehabilitation Centers*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wound Infection / epidemiology*