Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst

Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst
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ISSN: 2167-1044


Associations between Depressive Symptoms and 30-day Hospital Readmission among Older Adults

Ivonne M. Berges, Sania Amr, Danielle S. Abraham, Dawn L. Cannon and Glenn V. Ostir

Abstract Background: Hospital readmissions are common and costly. Our goal was to determine the association between depressive symptoms and readmission within 30 days following hospital discharge in older adults. Methods: We analyzed data from a study of 789 persons aged 65 years or older admitted to a 20-bed acute care for elders (ACE) hospital unit from May 2009 to July 2011. Depressive symptoms were recorded within 24-hours of admission to the hospital unit, using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies -Depression (CES-D) Scale. The primary outcome was readmission to hospital within 30 days of discharge. Results: The mean age was 77 years; 66% were female, 72% were White, and 59% were unmarried. On average, older patients reported 2.6 comorbid conditions. Sixteen percent were classified with high depressive symptoms (CES-D ≥ 16). The readmission rate within 30 days was 15%. Older patients with high depressive symptoms had more than 1.6 times the odds (OR 1.66; 95% CI: 1.01-2.74) of being readmitted within 30-days, as compared to those with low depressive symptoms (CES-D<16), after adjustment for age, race/ethnicity, sex, marital status and comorbid conditions. Conclusion: High depressive symptoms increased the risk of hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge after adjusting for relevant covariates. In-hospital screening for depressive symptoms may identify older persons at risk for recurrent hospital admissions.