Life course health and healthcare utilization among adults with spina bifida

Liptak GS, Robinson LM, Davidson PW, Dziorny A, Lavalley R, Flaherty MG, Dosa NP

Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 2015 Nov 2

To evaluate the prevalence of organ system disorders and describe healthcare utilization among adults with spina bifida at a regional clinic.

METHOD: This study was a structured chart review using the Rochester Health Status Survey-IV. 65 males, 57 females aged 16 to 59 years were seen at the Spina Bifida Center of Central New York between January 2007 and December 2008 (annual hospitalization rate was 15 out of 100).

RESULTS: Hospitalizations and acute outpatient visits were associated with having shunted hydrocephalus, whereas visits to the emergency department were associated with having a decubitus ulcer. Logistic regression models revealed that older adults made proportionately fewer visits to primary care providers than younger adults (odds ratio 0.919; p=0.02). Yet for every 1-year increase in age, the odds of being hospitalized increased by 5% (odds ratio 1.051; p=0.03).

INTERPRETATION: Adults with spina bifida have multiple organ-system disorders. They have greater difficulty accessing services, and utilize emergency and inpatient healthcare at higher rates than the general population. In the future, adults with spina bifida will require access to more medical care and preventive services if they are to have optimal health, well-being, and functioning.

doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12952