Cost effectiveness of inpatient rehabilitation in patients with brain injury.

Research paper by Marie Therese MT Cooney, Áine Á Carroll

Indexed on: 03 Apr '16Published on: 03 Apr '16Published in: Clinical medicine (London, England)


Rehabilitation following acquired brain injury improves health outcomes, reduces disability, and improves quality of life. We assessed the cost effectiveness of inpatient rehabilitation after brain injury in individuals with brain injury admitted to the Irish national tertiary specialist rehabilitation centre in 2011. Patients' score on the Disability Rating Scale (DRS) was recorded on admission and at discharge after intensive inpatient rehabilitation. Cost savings attributed to the rehabilitation programme were calculated as the difference between direct care costs on admission and discharge. Direct costs of care were calculated as the weekly cost of the care-assistant hours required to care for patients on the basis of their level of disability or daily nursing-home bed cost when this was required. Of 63 patients, complete DRS information for admission and discharge was available for 41. DRS scores, and therefore average levels of functioning, differed significantly at admission (2.3, between mildly and moderately dependent) and discharge (1.1, independent in special environments, p<0.01). Average weekly care costs fell from €629 to €242, with costs recouped within 30 months. Thus, substantial savings result from inpatient rehabilitation, and these savings could have been greater had we considered also the economic benefit of enabling patients to return to employment.