Living environment is a problem for spinal cord injury patients upon their return to the society. There are also many instances of home care problems after hospital discharge. For cervical spinal cord injury patients in particular, appropriate intervention/assistance provided by the authorities in accordance with the level of residual function is essential, but there have been few reports on this issue. Here we report on a municipal facility for cervical spinal cord injury patients where a patient moved into upon hospital discharge that did not provide a suitable environment, and the burden posed on his family increased. The patient was a 55-year-old man with traumatic cervical spinal cord injury who was commuting to our rehabilitation center after hospital discharge. We investigated the environment in the municipal housing facility he had moved into, and examined the relationship between the level of cervical spinal cord injury function and ADL assessment before and after hospital discharge. The main problems were an increase in care provided by his wife due to unsuitable toilet facilities and insufficient public facilities concerning the living environment. In terms of ADL by FIM (functional independence measure), namely, toilet transfer, toilet motion and defecation control which he had performed independently at the time of hospital discharge, all had decreased to a level requiring assistance after he moved into the present apartment. Therefore, approach via welfare equipment compensation were undertaken. As a result, the burden for his wife diminished, but the ADL and FIM scores obtained were low. Thus, the living environment facilities for patients with cervical spinal cord injuries should be in accordance with the level of function and ADL, suggesting the necessity for the authorities to establish a cooperative system for running home facilities.
Gan to kagaku ryoho. Cancer & chemotherapy 01/2003; 29 Suppl 3:522-5.