, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 86-90

Utility of delayed spinal cord injury rehabilitation: an Italian study

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The objective was to examine the utility of delayed spinal cord injury rehabilitation. The design was a retrospective study in the spinal unit of a large rehabilitation hospital. The participants were 117 patients at their first rehabilitation admission with an event to admission time of 90 days or more. The main outcome measures were the Barthel Index, Rivermead Mobility Index, Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury and motor scores at admission and discharge; relative changes were examined. Patients showed a significant increase in all the outcome measures and achieved independence or assisted independence; significant neurological improvement and improvement in walking were recorded too; most of the patients were discharged home. The present data demonstrate the utility of delayed rehabilitation and highlight the importance of having rehabilitation in a specialised setting.