A new multimodal geriatric discharge-planning intervention to prevent emergency visits and rehospitalizations of older adults: the optimization of medication in AGEd multicenter randomized controlled trial

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Nov;59(11):2017-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03628.x. Epub 2011 Sep 27.


Objectives: To determine whether a new multimodal comprehensive discharge-planning intervention would reduce emergency rehospitalizations or emergency department (ED) visits for very old inpatients.

Design: Six-month prospective, randomized (Zelen design), parallel-group, open-label trial.

Setting: Six acute geriatric units (AGUs) in Paris and its surroundings.

Participants: Six hundred sixty-five consecutive inpatients aged 70 and older (intervention group (IG) n = 317; control group (CG) n = 348).

Intervention: Intervention-dedicated geriatricians different from those in the study centers implemented the intervention, which targeted three risk factors for preventable readmissions and consisted of three components: comprehensive chronic medication review, education on self-management of disease, and detailed transition-of-care communication with outpatient health professionals.

Measurements: Emergency hospitalization or ED visit 3 and 6 months after discharge, as assessed by telephone calls to the participant, the caregiver, and the general practitioner and confirmed with the hospital administrative database.

Results: Twenty-three percent of IG participants were readmitted to hospital or had an ED visit 3 months after discharge, compared with 30.5% of CG participants (P = .03); at 6 months, the proportions were 35.3% and 40.8%, respectively (P = .15). Event-free survival was significantly higher in the IG at 3 months (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.53-0.97, P = .03) but not at 6 months (HR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.64-1.04, P = .10).

Conclusion: This intervention was effective in reducing rehospitalizations and ED visits for very elderly participants 3 but not 6 months after their discharge from the AGU. Future research should investigate the effect of this intervention of transitional care in a larger population and in usual acute and subacute geriatric care.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Acute Disease / therapy*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disease Management*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Paris
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies