The relationship between time out of bed and significant events for spinal cord injured patients

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The present study made an initial attempt to explore the relationship between time out of bed as measured by the Rest Time Monitor and significant events during hospitalization of spinal cord injured patients. The purpose was to validate time out of bed as an indicator of the status of a patient's health. Because of the lack of previous research regarding such a relationship, a retrospective approach was used which cast a widenet in the search for events that might be reflected by changes in patterns of time out of bed. Patterns of time out of bed thought to be predictive of future events, such as medical complications, were sought as well as evidence of changes in time out of bed which occurred concurrently with the event. The study found several events which were associated with changes in time out of bed. These were primarily medical complications, but there was some evidence of associations between time out of bed and events thought to have a psychological impact on the patient. These findings supported the hypothesis that time out of bed is an indicator of health status. Because such data are quantitative and can be charted on a graph across time, they lend themselves well to presentation to clinical staff, yielding an unfolding picture of the patient's progress in rehabilitation as time goes by. There was less evidence of a predictive quality to patterns of time out of bed. However, there was some indication that patients who eventually experienced infections spent less time out of bed in the weeks prior to onset than did patients who did not experience infections. This finding suggests the need for further research to examine the possibility of predicting infections.