Reasons for home care clients' unplanned Hospital admissions and their associations with patient characteristics

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2018 Sep-Oct;78:114-126. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2018.06.008. Epub 2018 Jun 22.


Background: Unplanned hospitalizations and emergency room visits occur frequently among home care clients The aim of this study was to identify typical discharge diagnoses and their associations with patient characteristics among a total of 6812 Finnish home care clients aged ≥63 years who were hospitalized within one year of their first home care assessment.

Methods: A register-based study based on Resident Assessment Instrument-Home Care (RAI-HC) assessments and nationwide hospital discharge records. The RAI-HC assessments were linked to the hospital discharge records of the participants' first unplanned hospitalization. Univariate and multivariable regression analyses were used to evaluate the association of RAI-HC determinants with discharge diagnoses.

Results: The most common reason for the first hospitalization was an infectious disease (21%; n = 1446). When hospitalizations were classified according to the main diagnosis, chronic skin ulcers, functional impairment and daily urinary incontinence were associated with hospitalization due to infectious diseases; impaired cognitive capacity, Alzheimer's disease or other dementia and polypharmacy (protective effect) were associated with hospitalizations due to dementia; age of ≥90 years, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and using ≥10 drugs with hospitalizations due to heart diseases; and moderate or strong pain with hospitalization due to musculoskeletal disorders. Previous falls, female sex and an earlier hip fracture were associated with injury-related hospitalizations. Feelings of loneliness increased the odds of hospitalization due to geriatric symptoms without a specific diagnosis.

Conclusion: Patient characteristics and geriatric syndromes identified using RAI-HC predict the reasons for future hospitalizations among new home care clients.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Home care; Hospitalization; RAI assessment.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Home Care Services*
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge