Depressive Symptoms and Hospital Readmission in Older Adults Public Deposited

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  • BACKGROUND: Identifying patients at high risk of hospital readmission may facilitate interventions to improve care. Depressive symptoms are prevalent among hospitalized older adults and may provide a target for these interventions if associated with readmission. The aim of this study was to quantify the risk of 30-day unplanned hospital readmission among adults age ≥ 65 with depressive symptoms. DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective cohort study of adults aged ≥ 65 admitted to the University of Maryland Medical Center between 7/1/11 and 8/9/12. PARTICIPANTS: 750 patients aged ≥ 65 admitted to the general medical and surgical units and followed for 31 days following hospital discharge. MEASUREMENTS: Primary exposure was depressive symptoms at admission, defined as ≥ 6 on the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale. Primary outcome was unplanned 30-day hospital readmission, defined as an unscheduled overnight stay at any inpatient facility not occurring in the emergency department. RESULTS: Prevalence of depressive symptoms was 19% and incidence of 30-day unplanned hospital readmission was 19%. Depressive symptoms were not significantly associated with hospital readmission (Relative Risk (RR) 1.20; 95% Confidence Interval(CI) 0.83, 1.72). Age, Charlson Comorbidity Index score, and ≥ 2 hospitalizations within the past 6 months were significant predictors of unplanned 30-day hospital readmission. CONCLUSION: Although not associated with hospital readmission in our study, depressive symptoms are associated with other poor outcomes and may be under-diagnosed among hospitalized older adults. Hospitals interested in reducing readmission should focus on older patients with more comorbid illness and recent hospitalizations.
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  • Albrecht, J. S., Gruber-Baldini, A. L., Hirshon, J. M., Brown, C. H., Goldberg, R., Rosenberg, J. H., ... & Furuno, J. P. (2014). Depressive Symptoms and Hospital Readmission in Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 62(3), 495-499. doi:10.1111/jgs.12686
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