J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2023 Sep 19. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.23.00292. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to understand the role of social determinants of health assessed by the Area Deprivation Index (ADI) on hospital length of stay and discharge destination following surgical fixation of pelvic ring fractures.
METHODS: A retrospective chart analysis was performed for all patients who presented to our level-I trauma center with pelvic ring injuries that were treated with surgical fixation. Social determinants of health were determined via use of the ADI, a comprehensive metric of socioeconomic status, education, income, employment, and housing quality. ADI values range from 0 to 100 and are normalized to a U.S. mean of 50, with higher scores representing greater social deprivation. We stratified our cohort into 4 ADI quartiles. Statistical analysis was performed on the bottom (25th percentile and below, least deprived) and top (75th percentile and above, most deprived) ADI quartiles. Significance was set at p < 0.05.
RESULTS: There were 134 patients who met the inclusion criteria. Patients in the most deprived group were significantly more likely to have a history of smoking, to self-identify as Black, and to have a lower mean household income (p = 0.001). The most deprived ADI quartile had a significantly longer mean length of stay (and standard deviation) (19.2 ± 19 days) compared with the least deprived ADI quartile (14.7 ± 11 days) (p = 0.04). The least deprived quartile had a significantly higher percentage of patients who were discharged to a resource-intensive skilled nursing facility or inpatient rehabilitation facility compared with those in the most deprived quartile (p = 0.04). Race, insurance, and income were not significant predictors of discharge destination or hospital length of stay.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients facing greater social determinants of health had longer hospital stays and were less likely to be discharged to resource-intensive facilities when compared with patients of lesser social deprivation. This may be due to socioeconomic barriers that limit access to such facilities.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.