Abstract

Objective: This study evaluates the effects of early and intensive psychological intervention on length of hospital stay (LOS) in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Method: A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data was performed at our Urban, Level 1 Trauma Center in 83 patients admitted following TBI. Data included demographics, time to psychological consultation, total follow-up visits, mechanism of injury, injury severity score (ISS), insurance status, need for and duration of mechanical ventilation, Glascow Coma Scale (GCS), disposition, and LOS. Patients were classified as early (7 days) consults after admission or liberation from mechanical ventilation, if needed. Statistical analysis included Multiple Logistic Regression to evaluate the effect of timing and intensity of psychological intervention on LOS. Results: No baseline differences in age, gender, ISS, and insurance status were identified. For non-ventilated patients early psychological consultation and total follow-ups predicted LOS (β = .29, t(35) = 2.81, p < .001; R2 = .84, F(3, 32) = 61.46, p < .001). In ventilated patients, intensity of psychological intervention significantly predicted LOS (β = .22, t(48) = 2.88, p < .001; R2 = .73, F(2, 46) = 61.30, p < .001). Conclusion(s): Psychological consultation and intervention was associated with significant reduction in LOS for patients with a TBI. Specifically, early consultation in non-ventilated patients was associated with reduced LOS; and intensity of psychological consultation positively predicted LOS in ventilated patients. These results suggest a beneficial role for psychological consultations and interventions during hospitalizations for patients with TBI.