Effects of a health-social partnership transitional program on hospital readmission: a randomized controlled trial

Soc Sci Med. 2011 Oct;73(7):960-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.06.036. Epub 2011 Jul 22.


Hospital readmission is an indicator of care quality. Studies have been conducted to test whether post-discharge transitional care programs can reduce hospital readmission, but results are not conclusive. The contemporary development of post-discharge support advocates a health and social partnership approach. There is a paucity of experimental studies examining the effects of such efforts. This study designed a health-social transitional care management program (HSTCMP) and subjected it to empirical testing using a randomized controlled trial in the medical units of an acute general hospital with 1700 beds in Hong Kong during the period of February 2009 to July 2010. Results using per-protocol analysis revealed that the HSTCMP significantly reduced readmission at 4-weeks (study 4.0%, control 10.2%, χ(2) = 7.98, p = 0.005). The intention-to-treat result also showed a lower readmission rate with the study group but the result was not significant (study 11.5%, control 14.7%, χ(2) = 1.53, p = 0.258). There was however significant improvement in quality of life, self-efficacy and satisfaction in the study group in both per-protocol and intention-to-treat analyses. The study suggests that a health-social partnership, using volunteers as substitutes for some of the professional care, may be effective for general medical patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • China
  • Community Networks*
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Readmission / trends*
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Efficacy