LTC Homes Survey

The Prevalence and Impact of Spine Pain in Ontario Long Term Care Seniors
Primary Investigator: Peter Tsasis, MBA, PhD, Associate Professor, York University
Co-Investigator/PhD Student: Connie D’Astolfo, DC, PhD (candidate)

Click link to Download Survey: Spine Pain in Long Term Care Home Seniors

Across Canada, emergency department (ED) transfers and hospitalization for spine or back pain in the senior population are strikingly high. Back pain was reported as the 9th most common reason for ED visits in seniors over 65 (CIHI, 2012). In 2010- 2011, 966 Ontario seniors over 60 were hospitalized for uncomplicated back pain at a total cost of $5.1 million (CIHI Patient Cost Estimator, 2011). This cost was independent of fall related injuries, chronic pain, anxiety or depression.
A shift in Ontario to improve quality of care and health outcomes related to spine or back pain has included the Inter-professional Spine Assessment and Education Clinics study and the Primary Care Low Back Pain Pilot for Family Health Teams and Community Health Centres (announced in October 2013). This study strategically aligns with these initiatives and other key priorities of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Accurate prevalence data and the cost of spine pain associated with ED transfers and hospitalization in the Ontario Long Term Care (LTC) senior population is currently unknown. This data will add tremendous value to the literature and assist with developing and supporting a model for an interdisciplinary spine pain program for LTC seniors.
Question: What is the period prevalence of spine pain in the LTC senior population? Is pain and impairment related to spinal pain conditions in the senior LTC population a significant contributor for ED transfer and hospitalization? What are the associated costs?
Objective 1: To study the period prevalence of spine pain and its associated co-morbidities in Ontario LTC seniors. Objective 2: To assess the rate and cost of avoidable ED transfers and hospital visits associated with spine pain and its co-morbidities in Ontario LTC seniors.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY (Ethics Approval received from York University)
The study involves a quantitative administrative data evaluation from approximately 90,000 LTC seniors across Ontario. Data will be collected through CIHI from the Resident Assessment Instrument-Minimal Data Set (RAI-MDS) over a four-year period (2010-2014). Data will be evaluated for number of ED transfers, reason for transfer, associated clinical diagnoses and length of hospital admission. A qualitative analysis of the study will involve surveying  LTC homes across Ontario . The survey will include questions on the prevalence, assessment, management and impact of spine pain in the home.
Your participation is most appreciated.
Dr. Connie D’Astolfo, Dc, PhD (cand)
Tel: 905-850-7746 F: 905-850-1871 Email: info@spinegroup,ca