Characteristics of geriatric patients related to early and late readmissions to hospital

A. Di Iorio, A. L. Longo, A. Mitidieri Costanza, S. Bandinelli, S. Capasso, M. Gigante, A. Bavazzano, G. Guizzardi, U. Seninb, L. Ferrucci, G. Abate

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46 Scopus citations


The aim of the study was to evaluate which characteristics of geriatric patients account for readmission to hospital, 6 months after discharge. All patients (203 females, 176 males) consecutively admitted over a two-month period to four acute geriatric care units, located in the cities of Chieti, Perugia, Pescara and Prato, participated in the study. Data that could potentially explain early and late readmissions were collected for each patient. Prevalence of diseases and comorbidity were assessed with the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS); physical function by self-report (ADL, IADL) and objective (Stand and Walking Speed) measures; cognitive level by MMSE; and depressive symptoms by the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Information on family and social support were also obtained. After discharge, data on hospital readmissions were collected for six months. For each readmitted patient (cases), medical records were reviewed, and supplementary information was obtained from families and general practitioners. Readmissions were classified as 'early' (within the first three months), 'late' (within the third and sixth month), and 'multiple' (2 or more readmissions irrespective of the period). Patients not readmitted (alive at home) were considered as controls. Systematic differences between centers and between periods of readmissions were evaluated using one-way analyses of variance, and Pearson's χ2 test. Factors related to early, late, and multiple readmission were identified in multivariate logistic regression models. On univariate analysis, patients readmitted over the first three- month period were sicker than controls (CIRS classes 3-4: 52.1% vs 34.1%), had more social problems or behavioral symptoms, and were more functionally impaired (ADL dependencies 3.3±0.4 vs 2.1±0.2). Patients who were readmitted between the third and the sixth month after discharge had a significantly higher CIRS total score (p=0.006). Patients with multiple readmissions had more severe diseases, and more social problems. On multivariate analysis, early readmission was associated with unsatisfactory social conditions, living alone, severity of diseases and cognitive impairment, while late readmission was associated with comorbidity only. Multiple readmissions were related only to social factors, and to hospital admission before the baseline evaluation. The findings of this study suggest that interventions aimed at improving unfavorable social conditions may reduce the rate of rehospitalization in geriatric patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment
  • Hospital readmission
  • Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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