Main Article Content
Fall injuries are one of the leading causes of hospitalisation for adults aged ≥65 years. Distinguishing key characteristics of older adults who are either living in aged care or in the community who have multiple hospital readmissions after a fall injury may inform targeted approaches to the prevention of hospital readmissions.
Objectives and Approach
To examine trajectories of hospital readmission of older adults living in aged care or the community after a fall injury hospitalisation and to identify factors predictive of trajectory group membership. A group-based trajectory analysis of hospital readmissions of adults aged ≥65 years who had a fall injury hospitalisation during 2008-09 in New South Wales, Australia was conducted. Linked hospitalisation and aged care data were examined for a 5 year period to 2013. Group-based trajectory models were derived based on number of subsequent readmissions following the index admission. Multinominal logistic regression examined predictors of trajectory group membership.
There were 24,729 fall injury hospitalisations; 78.8% of fallers were living in the community and 21.2% in aged care. Five distinct trajectory groups were identified for community-living (i.e. Moderate-declining, Chronic, Low-constant, Low-declining, and High users) and four trajectory groups for aged care residents (i.e. Low, Moderate-declining, Moderate-chronic, and High users). Key predictors of trajectory group membership for both community-living and aged care residents were age group, number of comorbidities, and dementia status. For aged care residents, depression, assistance with activities of daily living, and number of subsequent fall injury admissions were also predictors of group membership, with time to move to an aged care facility a predictor of group membership for community-living.
Conclusion / Implications
Identifying trajectories of ongoing hospital use informs targeting of strategies to reduce hospital admissions and design of services to allow community-living individuals to remain as long as possible within their own residence.
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