- 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.
- 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
|Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
- This work was supported by Agency for Healthcare
Research and Quality (AHRQ) Grant R36HS021068–01
(JSA); National Institutes of Health Grants
T32AG000262–14 (JSA), K01AI071015–05 (JPF); and
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Grant R01