2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Symbolic Systems
Mentor: Laura Prolo (Neurosurgery)

“Longitudinal Assessment of Healthcare Charges in the Treatment of Pediatric Hydrocephalus”

Hydrocephalus, fluid build-up in the brain, is one of the most common conditions treated by pediatric neurosurgeons and is treated with either an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) or insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS). Long-term costs for these surgical procedures are not well studied and rising healthcare costs are a significant concern for families and society. Using a large healthcare database, the Prolo lab will examine the longitudinal costs of treating hydrocephalus with a VPS or ETV. Rebecca will classify expenditures from ~900 patients into inpatient, outpatient, and auxiliary, and conduct statistical analyses to determine what demographic and clinical factors drive expenditures by treatment group over 10 years. This work will further our understanding of how the two treatments impact patients differently long-term.