Rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury: A survey in 70 European neurotrauma centres participating in the CENTER-TBI study.

25 Jun 2018

OBJECTIVE: To describe variation in structural and process characteristics of acute in-hospital rehabilitation and referral to post-acute care for patients with traumatic brain injury across Europe. DESIGN: Survey study, of neurotrauma centres. METHODS: A 14-item survey about in-hospital rehabilitation and referral to post-acute care was sent to 71 neurotrauma centres participating in a European multicentre study (CENTER-TBI). The questionnaire was developed based on literature and expert opinion and was pilot-tested before sending out to the centres. RESULTS: Seventy (99%) centres in 20 countries completed the survey. The included centres were predominately academic level I trauma centres. Among the 70 centres, a multidisciplinary rehabilitation team can be consulted at 41% (n = 29) of the intensive care units and 49% (n = 34) of the wards. Only 13 (19%) centres used rehabilitation guidelines in patients with traumatic brain injury. Age was reported as a major determinant of referral decisions in 32 (46%) centres, with younger patients usually referred to specialized rehabilitation centres, and patients ≥ 65 years also referred to nursing homes or local hospitals. CONCLUSION: Substantial variation exists in structural and process characteristics of in-hospital acute rehabilitation and referral to post-acute rehabilitation facilities among neurotrauma centres across Europe.