Pediatric discharge planning: complications, efficiency, and adequacy

Soc Work Health Care. 1995;22(1):1-18. doi: 10.1300/J010v22n01_01.


The complications encountered in discharge planning in an acute care pediatric hospital were documented. The cases of 105 children hospitalized on selected units of an acute care, regional, pediatric hospital in the Midwest were studied. The most frequently encountered complications were financial, family unavailability and lack of cooperation, family inability/unwillingness to learn patient care, custody issues, unexpected medical developments, and transportation problems. Team differences in understanding the child's psychosocial situation and custody disputes were associated with delays in discharge. Private insurance, late referral, and lack of family availability were associated with the adequacy of the discharge plan, as rated by the discharge planner at discharge. Results show discharge planning to be a complex process, affected by family, resource, and team work issues.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aftercare / organization & administration
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Family
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Discharge / standards*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Work Department, Hospital / standards
  • Time Factors