Efficacy of early clinical evaluation in predicting direct home discharge of elderly patients after hospitalization in internal medicine

South Med J. 2012 Feb;105(2):63-7. doi: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e318242d74d.


Objectives: Early evaluation of direct home discharge (DHD) after hospitalization of elderly patients is important to organize discharge planning quickly. Many scores, scales, and indices have been developed to improve discharge planning. Is clinical judgment better than functional status, comorbidity, or cognitive function scales in predicting DHD of elderly patients after hospitalization?

Methods: Ninety-seven patients, aged 75 years or older, admitted from the emergency department to an internal medicine department in a French teaching hospital between December 1, 2006 and May 1, 2007, were enrolled prospectively in the study. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory characteristics and functional status, comorbidity, and cognitive function scales were determined. The primary outcome was the percentage of correct discharge prediction made by junior and senior doctors within the first 48 hours upon admission. Univariate analysis and logistic regression were assessed to determine predictive variables of patients' discharge.

Results: Junior and senior doctors obtained correct prediction in 74.2% and 73.2% of cases, respectively (P > 0.99). Activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and duration of hospitalization were predictive of DHD (95% confidence interval [CI] -6.1 to 0.2, P = 0.037; 95% CI -2.1 to 9.9, P = 0.003; 95% CI -3 to 9.1, P = 0.0001, respectively) in the univariate analysis. Instrumental activities of daily living was an independent predictive variable of patients' discharge in a logistic regression. No difference between clinical evaluation and the use of an independent predictive variable regarding the prediction of DHD was found.

Conclusions: Early clinical evaluation is as effective as the use of functional status scales to predict DHD of hospitalized elderly patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Hospital Departments*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine*
  • Length of Stay / trends*
  • Male
  • Patient Discharge / trends*
  • Retrospective Studies