South African Journal of Physiotherapy (Dec 2012)

Factors affecting length of hospital stay for people with spinal cord injuries at Kanombe military hospital, Rwanda

  • PB Bwanjugu,
  • A. Rhoda

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 68, no. 2
pp. 33 – 37


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In patients with spinal cord injuries increased length ofhospital stay is often as a result of secondary complications such as pressuresores, urinary tract infection and respiratory infection. An increased lengthof hospital stay was observed at Kanombe Military Hospital in Rwanda.The aim of this study was to determine specific factors affecting length ofhospital stay for individuals with spinal cord injuries at Kanombe MilitaryHospital in Rwanda. The records of 124 individuals with spinal cordinjuries who were discharged from the hospital between 1st January1996and 31st December 2007 were reviewed to collect data. Information collected and captured on a data gathering sheetincluded demographic data, information relating to the injury, occurrence of medical complications and length ofhospital stay. Linear regression analysis was computed in SPSS to determine factors affecting the length of stay.The necessary ethical considerations were adhered to during the implementation of the study. Current employmentstatus and the occurrence of pressure sores were significantly associated with the length of hospital stay (p=0.021 andp=0.000 respectively). A strong relationship was noted between pressure sores and length of stay (R= 0.703). There is aneed for all members of the rehabilitation team to devise and implement effective measures to prevent the developmentof pressure sores, in patients with spinal cord injuries in the study setting.