Hospital readmission among older medical patients in Hong Kong

J R Coll Physicians Lond. Mar-Apr 1999;33(2):153-6.


Objective: To study the risk factors for hospital readmission among older medical patients in Hong Kong.

Design: Cohort study.

Subjects: 1,204 consecutive hospital medical patients aged 70 years and over in Hong Kong.

Procedures: Subjects were interviewed by a research nurse on discharge, and were followed up for six months.

Outcome: Unplanned hospital readmissions were identified and classified as avoidable or unavoidable. The risk factors for early (within 28 days), recurrent (three or more) and avoidable readmissions were studied by multiple logistic regression.

Results: Four hundred and fifty-five patients (37.7%) had at least one readmission in six months; 18%, 6.4%, and 2.9% of subjects had early, recurrent and avoidable readmissions respectively. Recent hospital stay predicted all types of readmissions. Early readmission was predicted by length of stay, Barthel index (assessment of physical and mental function) and unresolved medical problems. Recurrence readmission was predicted by poor family support, residence in a home for the elderly and unresolved medical problems.

Conclusions: Hospital readmission may be prevented by ensuring adequate length of stay, so that medical problems are resolved before discharge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Services for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors