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Neighborhood child opportunity is associated with hospital length of stay following pediatric burn injury.

Burns 2024 April 5
INTRODUCTION: Pediatric burns are associated with socioeconomic disadvantage and lead to significant morbidity. The Child Opportunity Index (COI) is a well-validated measure of neighborhood characteristics associated with healthy child development. We sought to evaluate the relationship between COI and outcomes of burn injuries in children.

METHODS: We performed a single-institution retrospective review of pediatric (<16 years) burn admissions between 2015 and 2019. Based on United States residential zip codes, patients were stratified into national COI quintiles. We performed a multivariate Poisson regression analysis to determine the association between COI and increased length of stay.

RESULTS: 2095 pediatric burn admissions occurred over the study period. Most children admitted were from very low (n = 644, 33.2 %) and low (n = 566, 29.2 %) COI neighborhoods. The proportion of non-Hispanic Black patients was significantly higher in neighborhoods with very low (44.5 %) compared to others (low:28.8 % vs. moderate:11.9 % vs. high:10.5 % vs. very high:4.3 %) (p < 0.01). Hospital length of stay was significantly longer in patients from very low COI neighborhoods (3.6 ± 4.1 vs. 3.2 ± 4.9 vs. 3.3 ± 4.8 vs. 2.8 ± 3.5 vs. 3.2 ± 8.1) (p = 0.02). On multivariate regression analysis, living in very high COI neighborhoods was associated with significantly decreased hospital length of stay (IRR: 0.51; 95 % CI: 0.45-0.56).

CONCLUSION: Children from neighborhoods with significant socioeconomic disadvantage, as measured by the Child Opportunity Index, had a significantly higher incidence of burn injuries resulting in hospital admissions and longer hospital length of stay. Public health interventions focused on neighborhood-level drivers of childhood development are needed to decrease the incidence and reduce hospital costs in pediatric burns.

TYPE OF STUDY: Retrospective study LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III.

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