Successful Community Discharge Among Older Adults With Traumatic Brain Injury in Skilled Nursing Facilities

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2021 May-Jun;36(3):E186-E198. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000638.


Objective: To identify patient, injury, and functional status characteristics associated with successful discharge to the community following a skilled nursing facility (SNF) stay among older adults hospitalized following traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Setting: Skilled nursing facilities.

Participants: Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries admitted to an SNF after hospitalization for TBI.

Design: Retrospective cohort study using Medicare administrative data merged with the National Trauma Data Bank using a multilayered Bayesian record linkage approach.

Main outcome measure: Successful community discharge: discharged alive within 100 days of SNF admission and remaining in the community for 30 days or more without dying or admission to a healthcare facility.

Results: Medicaid enrollment, incontinence, decreased independence with activities of daily living, and cognitive impairment were associated with lower odds of successful discharge, whereas race "other" was associated with higher odds of successful discharge. Injury factors including worse injury severity (Glasgow Coma Scale and Abbreviated Injury Scale scores) and fall-related injury mechanism were not associated with successful discharge.

Conclusion: Among older adults with TBI who discharge to an SNF, sociodemographic and functional status characteristics are associated with successful discharge and may be useful to clinicians for discharge planning. Acute injury severity indices may have limited utility in predicting discharge disposition once a patient is admitted to an SNF for post-acute care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic* / diagnosis
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Medicare
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • United States