Factors affecting length of hospital stay for people with spinal cord injuries at Kanombe Military Hospital, Rwanda
Bwanjugu, Patrick B.
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Spinal cord injury is a devastating condition, and its consequences impact on many facets of an individual's life. Activities of daily living such as personal care and housework might be difficult to perform post injury. The majority of spinal cord injury patients receive hospital-based rehabilitation to address these consequences. The normal length of hospital stay among spinal cord injury patients ranges from three to twelve months, and an increased length of stay are caused by development of secondary complications such as pressure sores, urinary tract infection and respiratory infection. The purpose of this study was to determine factors affecting length of hospital stay for individuals with spinal cord injuries at Kanombe Military Hospital in Rwanda. To achieve this, a retrospective study, utilising a quantitative approach was used. The records of individuals with spinal cord injuries discharged from the hospital between 1st January1996 and 31st December 2007 were reviewed to collect data. A data gathering instrument was developed by the researcher and there after used to capture the relevant information from the patients' folders. Information collected included demographic data, information relating to the injury, occurrence of medical complications and length of hospital stay. One hundred and twenty four medical folders of patients discharged from 1st January 1996 to 31st December 2007 at Kanombe Military Hospital were reviewed for data extraction. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16.0 for windows was used to analyse the data. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were determined in SPSS. Associations were made between demographic factors and occurrence of secondary medical complications with length of hospital stay. These were computed by means of chi-square tests. One level of significance, alpha set at 5% was used throughout. The linear regression analysis was used to determine factors affecting the length of stay.