Category: Pediatric Rehabilitation; Cross-Cutting
This project established the feasibility of: 1) identifying a large cohort of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) who received inpatient pediatric rehabilitation; and 2) linking this cohort to school administrative data to describe educational outcomes after rehabilitation.
Secondary analysis of data from medical records linked with longitudinal education records collected by the New Jersey State Department of Education.
Setting : An urban area pediatric rehabilitation facility in New Jersey.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) :
Children with an index inpatient rehabilitation stay between 2009 and 2015, ages 7 and 19, and residents of New Jersey were eligible (N=832). Ineligibility criteria included no school attendance, terminal illness, or noted legal issues (N=602). Letters were mailed to families in English and Spanish explaining the study followed by phone calls to obtain informed consent. Currently, 34 participants declined, 22 are lost, and 100 families and former patients consented to have their education data accessed for the project.
Interventions : Not applicable
Main Outcome Measure(s) :
Academic outcomes included placement (e.g., grade level, special education program), performance (e.g., test scores, grade completion), and attendance.
The sample was 53% male and two out of every five participants was an adolescent at the time of rehabilitation. Ninety-seven of the 100 participants were matched to their school records. A portion (24.2%) received special education services after returning to school and one in five children experienced grade repetition.
Administrative data can feasibly be used to investigate school re-entry and community integration after pediatric rehabilitation. Preliminary analysis suggests that the proportion of students receiving special education services is low. Further analysis will provide information on the occurrence of school difficulties and group comparisons by demographic and impairment group characteristics.