Examining the impact of COVID‑19 on acute episodes of care and health care utilization among persons with spinal cord injury: A population-based administrative health data study
The COVID‑19 pandemic has impacted the provision of healthcare services, making it harder for some people, especially those with more complex health and social needs, to access the care they need. People living with spinal cord injury or dysfunction typically require frequent visits to their healthcare providers for regular surveillance of secondary complications related to their condition, in addition to addressing other health problems as they arise. Our proposed research has two key goals. First, we will examine the patterns of healthcare use by people in Ontario with spinal cord injury or dysfunction before and after the outbreak of the COVID‑19 pandemic. Second, will look at the experience of people living in the community with a longstanding injury, looking at possible disruptions to their routine preventive care. We will also study newly injured people who are transitioning from acute hospital care through rehabilitation and back to the community, looking in particular at the length of time they spend in hospital and their number of transfers between different health care facilities. These findings will inform how populations with multi-morbidity and disability, such as those with spinal cord injury or dysfunction, were impacted by service delivery and policy changes.