Unplanned nursing home admission among discharged polymedicated older inpatients: a single-centre, registry-based study in Switzerland

BMJ Open. 2022 Mar 4;12(3):e057444. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-057444.


Objective: To investigate patient characteristics and the available health and drug data associated with unplanned nursing home admission following an acute hospital admission or readmission.

Design: A population-based hospital registry study.

Setting: A public hospital in southern Switzerland (Valais Hospital).

Participants: We explored a population-based longitudinal dataset of 14 705 hospital admissions from 2015 to 2018.

Outcome measures: Sociodemographic, health and drug data, and their interactions predicting the risk of unplanned nursing home admission.

Results: The mean prevalence of unplanned nursing home admission after hospital discharge was 6.1% (n=903/N=14 705). Our predictive analysis revealed that the oldest adults (OR=1.07 for each additional year of age; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.08) presenting with impaired functional mobility (OR=3.22; 95% CI 2.67 to 3.87), dependency in the activities of daily living (OR=4.62; 95% CI 3.76 to 5.67), cognitive impairment (OR=3.75; 95% CI 3.06 to 4.59) and traumatic injuries (OR=1.58; 95% CI 1.25 to 2.01) had a higher probability of unplanned nursing home admission. The number of International Classification of Diseases, 10th version diagnoses had no significant impact on nursing home admissions, contrarily to the number of prescribed drugs (OR=1.17; 95% CI 1.15 to 1.19). Antiemetics/antinauseants (OR=2.53; 95% CI 1.21 to 5.30), digestives (OR=1.78; 95% CI 1.09 to 2.90), psycholeptics (OR=1.76; 95% CI 1.60 to 1.93), antiepileptics (OR=1.49; 95% CI 1.25 to 1.79) and anti-Parkinson's drugs (OR=1.40; 95% CI 1.12 to 1.75) were strongly linked to unplanned nursing home admission.

Conclusions: Numerous risk factors for unplanned nursing home admission were identified. To prevent the adverse health outcomes that precipitate acute hospitalisations and unplanned nursing home admissions, ambulatory care providers should consider these risk factors in their care planning for older adults before they reach a state requiring hospitalisation.

Keywords: clinical pharmacology; epidemiology; geriatric medicine; health informatics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Nursing Homes
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Patient Readmission
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Switzerland / epidemiology