OBJECTIVES: To develop and validate an instrument to predict probability of home discharge upon hospital admission. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Geriatric convalescence unit (GCU) in Spain. PARTICIPANTS: Seven hundred eighty-one patients aged 65 and older consecutively admitted to a GCU over a 4-year period. The total sample was randomized and divided into two subgroups; the first (n = 575) was used to construct the predictive instrument (development subgroup) and the second (n = 206) for the validation process (validation subgroup). MEASUREMENTS: All patients were evaluated within the first 72 hours after admission. Age, sex, functional status before admission, diagnostic categories, functional status on admission, comorbidity, cognitive function, and social support were assessed. RESULTS: Logistic regression analysis identified three patient characteristics as independent predictors of home discharge in the development subgroup: higher scores on functional status at admission (Barthel index), normal Mini-Mental State Examination scores, and lower scores on Social Familial Evaluation Scale. A scoring system ranging from 0 to 5 was constructed using these variables to predict probability of home discharge (PHD). Different PHD scores (0-1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) identified patients with different probabilities of returning home on discharge in the validation subgroup (36.5%, 53.6%, 60.8%, 83.3%, and 100%, respectively). PHD scores of 4 and 5 demonstrated substantially higher posttest than pretest probability, with moderate and high clinical effect value. Scores of 0 or 1 demonstrated substantially lower posttest than pretest probability. CONCLUSION: A PHD instrument may be useful in identifying patients most likely to be discharged to home from the GCU. Patients with low probability of home discharge may also be identified early.
- Home discharge