Social work and case management treatment time during inpatient spinal cord injury rehabilitation

Flora M. Hammond, Julie Gassaway, Nichola Abeyta, Erma S. Freeman, Donna Primack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Background: There is a lack of published evidence regarding the amount and type of social work and case management (SW/CM) services that an individual with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) receives during acute inpatient rehabilitation. Such information is needed to assist in resource planning, benchmarking, and research on interventions and outcomes. Methods: As part of the SCIRehab study social workers and case managers at six inpatient rehabilitation facilities documented details (including time spent) about the interventions provided to 600 patients with traumatic SCI during acute inpatient rehabilitation. Associations between patient and injury characteristics and time spent on these activities were examined. Results: Patients received a mean total of 10 hours of SW/CM services, with a mean of 72.8 total minutes per week. The majority of the patients received SW/CM time spent on interdisciplinary conferencing on the patient's behalf (96%), discharge planning and services (89%), financial planning (67%), community/inhouse services (66%), supportive counseling (56%), and initial assessment (54%). A minority of the patients received peer advocacy (12%), classes (24%), and education topics (30%). Total hours per stay and minutes per week varied by level of injury group. The most time per week was dedicated to patients with high tetraplegia ASIA Impairment Scale (AIS) A-C and the least to patients with C5-C8 AIS A-C. The patient and injury characteristics studied did not explain the variance seen in time spent on specific SW/CM services. Conclusions: These descriptive data may be helpful in resource planning to anticipate and address individual patient needs and to plan for department-level training and hiring. These data also may pave the way to studying relationships of interventions with patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-226
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • Case management
  • Comprehensive severity index
  • Paraplegia
  • Physical
  • Practice-based evidence
  • Rehabilitation
  • SCIRehab project
  • Social work
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Tetraplegia
  • Traumatic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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