Background: Early readmissions to hospital after discharge are common, and clinicians cannot accurately predict their occurrence. We examined whether patients who feel unready at the time of discharge have increased readmissions or death within 30 days.
Methods: This was a prospective cohort study of adult patients discharged home from 2 tertiary care hospitals in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, between October 2013 and November 2014. Patient-reported discharge readiness was measured with an 11-point Likert response scale, with scores <7 indicating subjective unreadiness. The primary outcome was readmission or death within 30 days. Logistic regression models were adjusted for age, sex, and a validated risk prediction score for postdischarge events (LACE index).
Results: Of 495 patients (mean age 62 years, 51% female, mean Charlson comorbidity index 2.8), 112 (23%) reported being unready for discharge. Risk factors for being unready at discharge were cognitive impairment (mild vs none), low satisfaction with health care services, depression, lower education, previous hospital admissions (12 months), and persistent symptoms or disability. At 30 days, 85 patients (17%) had been readmitted or died, with no significant difference between patients who felt unready or ready (15% vs 18%, adjusted odds ratio 0.84, 95% confidence interval 0.46-1.54, P = .59).
Conclusions: Although nearly one-quarter of hospitalized medical patients reported being unready at the time of discharge, they did not experience any higher risk of readmission or death in the first 30 days after discharge, compared with patients who felt ready for discharge.
Keywords: General internal medicine; Health services research; Patient satisfaction; Patient-reported outcomes; Readmissions.
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