Post-Acute Care for Older People Following Injury: A Randomized Controlled Trial

TitlePost-Acute Care for Older People Following Injury: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsParsons M, Parsons J, Pillai A, Rouse P, Mathieson S, Bregmen R, Smith C, Kenealy T
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
ISBN Number1538-9375
Accession Number31629646
Keywordspost-acute care, Supported discharge teams

OBJECTIVES: The study sought to determine whether older people, on discharge from hospital and on referral to a supported discharge team (SDT), will have: (1) reduced length of stay in hospital; (2) reduced risk of hospital readmission; and (3) reduced healthcare costs. DESIGN/INTERVENTION: Randomized controlled trial with follow-up at 4 and 12 months of post-acute home-based rehabilitation team (SDT). Programs were delivered by trained healthcare assistants, up to 4 times a day, 7 days a week, under the guidance of registered nurses, allied health, and geriatricians for up to 6 weeks. PARTICIPANTS/SETTING: A total of 303 older women and 100 older men (mean age 81) in hospital because of injury, were randomized to either SDT (n = 201) or usual care (n = 202). The intervention was operated from Waikato hospital, a regional hospital in New Zealand. METHODS: Days spent in hospital in the year following randomization and healthcare costs were collected from hospital datasets, and functional status assessed using the interRAI Contact Assessment was gathered by health professional research associates. RESULTS: Participants randomized to the SDT spent less time in hospital in the period immediately prior to discharge (mean 20.9 days) in comparison to usual care (mean 26.6 days) and spent less time in hospital in the 12 months following discharge home. Healthcare costs were lower in the SDT group in the 12 months following randomization. CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: SDT can provide an important role in reducing hospital length of stay and readmissions of older people following an injury. Almost a million older people (65+ years of age) a year in the US are hospitalized as a consequence of falls-related injuries, most often fractured hip. Hospitals are not always the best location to provide care for older people. SDTs can help with the transition from hospital to home, while reducing hospital length-of-stay.

Alternate JournalJ Am Med Dir Assoc