Preinjury Functional Independence is not Associated with Discharge Location in Older Trauma Patients

J Surg Res. 2021 Oct:266:413-420. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2021.04.029. Epub 2021 Jun 5.


Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between pre-injury Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living (Katz ADL) functional status and discharge to a facility in non-neurologically injured older trauma patients.

Methods: Data were obtained from 207 patients in the Trauma Medical Home study cohort. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with non-home discharge.

Results: Average patient age was 67.9 (SD 11.1). Patients were predominantly white (89.4%) and female (52.2%) with a median ISS of 11 (IQR 9-14). The most common mechanism of injury was fall (48.3%), followed by motor vehicle crash (41.1%). Nearly all patients (94.7%) reported independence in activities of daily living prior to hospitalization for injury. Discharge disposition varied, 51.7% of patients were discharged home, 37.7% to subacute rehabilitation, 10.1% to acute rehabilitation and 0.5% to long-term acute care. There was no relationship between pre-injury independence and likelihood of discharge home (P = 0.1331). Age (P < 0.0001), BMI (P = 0.0002), Charlson comorbidity score of 3 or greater (P = 0.0187), being single (P = 0.0077), ISS ≥ 16 (P = 0.0075) and being female with self-reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression over the past two weeks (P = 0.0092) were associated with significantly greater odds of non-home discharge.

Conclusions: Pre-injury Katz ADL is not associated with discharge disposition, though other significantly associated factors were identified. It is imperative that discussions regarding discharge disposition are initiated early during acute hospitalization. Trauma programs could potentially benefit from implementing an inpatient intervention focused on building coping skills for older patients exhibiting symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Keywords: Activities of daily living; Discharge location; Katz score; Older adults; trauma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Functional Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wounds and Injuries / rehabilitation*