Reduced chronic pain: Another benefit of recovery at an inpatient rehabilitation facility over a skilled nursing facility?

Document Type



General Surgery


Background: We sought to compare outcomes 6-12 months post-injury between patients discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) and a skilled nursing facility (SNF).
Methods: Trauma patients admitted to 3 Level-I trauma centers were interviewed to evaluate the presence of daily pain requiring medication, functional outcomes, and physical and mental health-related quality-of-life at 6-12 months post-injury. Inverse-probability-of-treatment-weighting (IPTW)-adjusted analyses were performed to compare outcomes between patients who were discharged to IRF vs SNF.
Results: A total of 519 patients were included: 389 discharged to IRFs and 130 to SNFs. In adjusted analyses, IRF was associated with a significant reduction in the likelihood of chronic pain after injury (28.3% vs. 44.7%; OR:0.49; 95% CI, 0.26-0.91; P = .02). However, there were no significant differences in functional outcome or SF-12 composite scores between groups.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that injured patients discharged to an IRF as compared to a SNF had less chronic pain and analgesic use.

Publication (Name of Journal)

The American Journal of Surgery