Cost-effectiveness of an integrated 'fast track' rehabilitation service for multi-trauma patients involving dedicated early rehabilitation intervention programs: design of a prospective, multi-centre, non-randomised clinical trial

Kosar, Sevginur; Seelen, Henk A. M.; Hemmen, Bena; Evers, Silvia M. A. A.; Brink, Peter R. G.
January 2009
Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes;2009, Vol. 3, p1
Academic Journal
Background: In conventional multi-trauma care service (CTCS), patients are admitted to hospital via the accident & emergency room. After surgery they are transferred to the IC-unit followed by the general surgery ward. Ensuing treatment takes place in a hospital's outpatient clinic, a rehabilitation centre, a nursing home or the community. Typically, each of the CTCS partners may have its own more or less autonomous treatment perspective. Clinical evidence, however, suggests that an integrated multi-trauma rehabilitation approach ('Supported Fast-track multi-Trauma Rehabilitation Service': SFTRS), featuring: 1) earlier transfer to a specialised trauma rehabilitation unit; 2) earlier start of 'non-weight-bearing' training and multidisciplinary treatment; 3) welldocumented treatment protocols; 4) early individual goal-setting; 5) co-ordination of treatment between trauma surgeon and physiatrist, and 6) shorter lengths-of-stay, may be more (cost- )effective. This paper describes the design of a prospective cohort study evaluating the (cost-) effectiveness of SFTRS relative to CTCS. Methods/design: The study population includes multi-trauma patients, admitted to one of the participating hospitals, with an Injury Severity Scale score > = 16, complex multiple injuries in several extremities or complex pelvic and/or acetabulum fractures. In a prospective cohort study CTCS and SFTRS will be contrasted. The inclusion period is 19 months. The duration of follow-up is 12 months, with measurements taken at baseline, and at 3,6,9 and 12 months post-injury. Primary outcome measures are 'quality of life' (SF-36) and 'functional health status' (Functional Independence Measure). Secondary outcome measures are the Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale, the Mini-Mental State Examination as an indicator of cognitive functioning, and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure measuring the extent to which individual ADL treatment goals are met. Costs will be assessed using the PROductivity and DISease Questionnaire and a cost questionnaire. Discussion: The study will yield results on the efficiency of an adapted care service for multitrauma patients (SFTRS) featuring earlier (and condensed) involvement of specialised rehabilitation treatment. Results will show whether improved SFTRS logistics, combined with shorter stays in hospital and rehabilitation clinic and specialised early rehabilitation training modules are more (cost-) effective, relative to CTCS. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials register (ISRCTN68246661) and Netherlands Trial Register (NTR139).


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