Elder self-neglect is associated with an increased rate of 30-day hospital readmission: Findings from the chicago health and aging project
Publish Year: 2014
Background/Aim: Elder self-neglect is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study is to examine the prospective relationship between reported elder self-neglect and the rate of 30-day hospital readmission in a community population. Methods: We conducted a prospective population-based study of community-dwelling older adults who participated in the Chicago Health and Aging Project. Of the 7,219 participants in the Chicago Health and Aging Project, a subset of 1,228 participants was reported to the social services agency for suspected elder self-neglect. The primary predictor was elder self-neglect reported to the social services agency. The outcome of interest was the annual rate of 30-day hospital readmission calculated from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid System hospitalization data from 1993 to 2009. Poisson regression models were used to assess these relationships. Results: The average annual rate of 30-day hospital readmission for those without elder self-neglect was 0.2 (SD 0.7) and for those with reported elder self-neglect 0.9 (SD 2.8). After adjusting for sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics, medical comorbidities, cognitive function, physical function, and psychosocial well-being, elders who self-neglect had a significantly higher rate of 30-day hospital readmission (rate ratio 2.50, 95% confidence interval 2.02-3.10). Greater self-neglect severity [mild: parameter estimate (PE) 1.09, standard error (SE) 0.19, p < 0.001; moderate: PE 0.84, SE 0.13, p < 0.001; severe: PE 1.24, SE 0.40, p = 0.002] was associated with increased annual rates of 30-day hospital readmission after considering the same confounders. Interaction term analyses suggest that the significant relationship between self-neglect and 30-day hospital readmission was not moderated by medical conditions, cognitive impairment, physical disability, or psychosocial well-being. Conclusion: Reported elder self-neglect was associated with increased rates of 30-day hospital readmission in this community population. Greater self-neglect severity was associated with a greater increase in the rate of 30-day hospital readmission.