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Developing a Veteran-Specific Employment Survey: Lessons from Veterans Living with SCI

Authors:
Results: The Zoom SEP was implemented in 1-week following shelter-in-
place orders. Five community-dwelling stroke survivors who previously
attended the community program at the YMCA have participated in >80% of
Zoom SEP sessions and report (1) high satisfaction with program and staff, (2)
online exercise option as “life changing”, “very much needed”, and “safe”.
Program feasibility challenges included internet service issues, online platform
familiarity, and lack of home exercise equipment. Program staff identified
maintaining safety through the Zoom camera views as a potential limitation.
Conclusions: Converting an existing community exercise program to an
online format was challenging but valued by participants to help them
remain physically active and socially engaged during the COVID-19
pandemic. It will be useful assess their interest in continuing online ex-
ercise options after facilities reopen.
Author(s) Disclosures: All authors declare no conflict of interest.
Keywords: Cerebrovascular Accident, Program Development, Healthy
Lifestyle, Community Dwelling
Late Breaking Research Poster 1432809
Cost of Hospitalizations During The First Five Years
After The Onset Of Spinal Cord Injury: A
Population-Based Study Using Billing Records
Yue Cao (Medical University of South Carolina), David Murday,
Elizabeth Corley, Nicole DiPiro, James Krause
Research Objectives: We have limited knowledge of the costs of reho-
spitalizations after the onset of spinal cord injury (SCI), with most existing
data collected by self-report of individuals identified through or medical
records from specialty or rehabilitation hospitals. Our objective was to
identify the number and costs of community-based hospitalizations during
the first five years after the onset of spinal cord injury (SCI) using in-
dividuals from a population-based SCI registry in the southeastern
United States.
Design: Inception cohort using retrospective analysis of administrative
billing data.
Setting: Data from a state population-based SCI registry were merged
with administrative billing data and analyzed by researchers at an aca-
demic medical center and university.
Participants: All incident cases of traumatic SCI identified through the
population-based South Carolina SCI Surveillance System Registry who
were injured prior to 2011 and had survived the first five years after SCI
onset were included. People who likely moved out of SC or who lived in
border counties were excluded, yielding n Z1872.
Interventions: N/A.
Main Outcome Measures: The outcome measures were the number of
hospitalizations, average length of stay, and costs analyzed by age, gender,
and race.
Results: The highest hospitalization rates and costs were in the first year,
being relatively stable in years 2e5. Beginning in year 2, 21% had at least
one hospitalization, with an average cost of $33,557 e$42,605 and just
over eight days per visit. Costs were substantially higher for men, more
than double that for women across all follow-up years.
Conclusions: Rehospitalization is a significant cost after SCI. Population
cohorts and billing data are needed to quantify these costs.
Author(s) Disclosures: The authors have no financial or non-financial
disclosures.
Keywords: Hospitalization, Cost, Spinal Cord Injuries
Late Breaking Research Poster 1432792
Developing a Veteran-Specific Employment Survey:
Lessons from Veterans Living with SCI
Denise Fyffe (Kessler Foundation/Rutgers-NJMS), Bridget Cotner,
Deveney Ching, Conner Clark, Ashleigh Quinn, Lisa Ottomanelli,
John O’Neill
Research Objectives: To describe the Veteran-centered approach and
qualitative methods used to engage Veterans in the development of the
Kessler Foundation National Employment and Disability Survey for Vet-
erans (KFNEDS-VS).
Design: This four-phase cross-sectional study used qualitative methods to
design and develop a Veteran-specific KFNEDS that captures the experi-
ences of Veterans living with an SCI. Focus groups and cognitive in-
terviews were conducted to identify barriers and facilitators to striving to
work and evaluate the appropriateness of survey questions.
Setting: The study sites were James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and
Kessler Foundation.
Participants: The research team study engaged Veterans with SCI to serve
as “experts” from the VA Veterans Engagement Group (VEG) and Com-
munity Action Board (CAB) to collaborate with the research team. The
VEG was comprised of Veterans with disabilities who receive care at the
James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital. The CAB consisted of 6 Veterans with
SCI and community advocates from both study sites. Both sites recruited
Veterans living with an SCI who are striving to work to participate in focus
group and cognitive interviews.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main Outcome Measures: Kessler Foundation National Employment and
Disability Survey for Veterans (KFNEDS-VS).
Results: The VEG reviewed the initial proposal, provided input on
employment strategies, participant recruitment, and dissemination plans.
The CAB participated in project team meetings and pilot tested the data
collection instruments prior to Phase 1 and 2 data collection of the project.
Focus groups findings indicate similar barriers related to SCI charac-
teristics and negative attitudes of colleagues within the workplace were
experienced among Veterans with SCI who were striving to work. Veter-
ans’ expressed similar strategies used to overcome employment barriers.
Cognitive interviews identified gaps, and informed the re-wording of
survey questions.
Conclusions: Lessons learned from this project indicate that actively
engaging Veteran stakeholders in the design and development of
employment measures improves the precision, sensitivity and applicability
of employment measures for Veterans with SCI as well as the translation of
outcome measures findings into practice and community settings.
Author(s) Disclosures: Nothing to disclose.
Keywords: Veteran And Military Health, Spinal Cord Injuries, Vocational
Rehabilitation
Late Breaking Research Poster 1432841
Development and Preliminary Evaluation of a
Pneumatic Sitting Postural Device for Infants
Nancy Godinez (University of California, Riverside), Sierra Lopez,
Avanti Mulji, Allison Pickle, Ponmathi Ramasamy Jayaseelan,
Konstantinos Karydis, Elena Kokkoni
Research Objectives: To assess the performance of a pneumatically-
actuated infant sitting prototype device consisting of:(1)four soft pneu-
matic actuators (inflatable pockets made of two vinyl sheets attached
together);(2)a plush ring that surrounds the torso and contains the sym-
metrically-distributed actuators;(3)an electronic control board to inflate/
deflate the actuators;(4)a pressure plate (two attached rubber sheets with a
pressure-sensitive conductive sheet and copper strips in between) to
measure center of pressure changes and signal to the control board when to
operate the actuators.
Design: Prototype components were tested separately. An infant manne-
quin (dimensionsZ20.32cmx12.70cmx50.80cm) was placed within the
plush ring during actuation (NZ3trials). A mass (diameterZ3.5cm,
weightZ85g) was placed on five locations on the plate (NZ10tri-
als/location).
Setting: Research laboratory.
Participants: N/A.
Interventions: N/A.
Main Outcome Measures: Actuator performance was assessed via total
inflation duration, maximum pressure before failure, and maximum
horizontal expansion. Ring performance through angle change of the
mannequin body from deflation to inflation in anterior-posterior (AP) and
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