Preliminary Analysis of Effect of Body Mass Index and Health Outcomes Across the Continuum of Care Post-Traumatic Injury




Driver, Simon
Smith, Hayden
Reynolds, Megan
Bennett, Monica
Warren, Ann


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  1. Research Objectives: Examine the impact of body mass index (BMI) on health outcomes during acute care post-traumatic injury, inpatient rehabilitation, and 3-months post-discharge
  2. Design: Prospective, longitudinal Setting: Level I trauma center; inpatient rehabilitation facility; community follow-up. Participants: 33 patients originally admitted to a Level I trauma center; all participants then completed inpatient rehabilitation in the same hospital system, followed by a 3-month telephonic follow-up. Interventions: Not Applicable Main Outcome Measure(s): Patients were divided into BMI categories based on admission data. Acute care data (e.g., demographic and injury-related) was collected from patient charts and hospital trauma registry. Rehabilitation data (e.g., Functional Independence Measures) was collected from eRehab and patient charts. Health outcomes included depression and post-traumatic stress disorder screens, pain levels, and return to work status. Kruskal-Wallis and Fisher’s tests compared outcomes across BMI categories.
  3. Results: 12 participants were classified as being of normal weight, 11 overweight, and 10 obese. A significantly greater number of overweight patients had more severe injuries in the acute care setting (p=.001). Individuals who were overweight were significantly more likely to have a positive depression screen at baseline (p=.0011). Differences in FIM efficiency during rehabilitation approached significance (p=.0551). While no differences were found during inpatient rehabilitation or 3-month outcomes, results did indicate that overweight and obese individual’s length of stays was two days longer than people who were normal weight.
  4. Conclusions: As the number of individuals considered overweight or obese now includes over two-thirds of Americans, it is critical to examine the characteristics of this population and identify strategies to achieve best outcomes. Larger samples are required to determine the relationship between BMI and health outcomes after traumatic injury.