The treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) has remained one of the most controversial issues in otolaryngology, and there are wide disparities between clinicians' treatment methods for SSNHL. Using five-year population-based data, we explored the relationship between physician and hospital characteristics and the length of stay (LOS) for SSNHL patients in Taiwan. The dataset was derived from the National Health Insurance Research Database. The patients in the study sample were identified by a principal diagnosis of sudden hearing loss. A total of 8712 hospitalization cases between 1998 and 2002 inclusive were included. Multiple regression analyses were performed in order to explore the relationship between physician and hospital characteristics and LOS, adjusting for patients' age and gender, as well as complications or comorbidities. The mean LOS for the duration of the study period was 5.62 days, while the regression analysis showed that, as compared to district hospitals, the LOS in medical centers and regional hospitals was 0.42 and 0.37 days longer, respectively (all p <0.001). The analysis also revealed that the LOS was 0.71 days shorter for patients who were attended by physicians specializing in otolaryngology than for those attended by physicians specializing in other areas (p <0.001). This study concludes that there is indeed a relationship between physician and hospital characteristics and the LOS for SSNHL patients. The results of this study serve to highlight the importance of developing treatment protocols for SSNHL so as to reduce the variation in physician or hospital behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)