(1/1240) Recurrence in affective disorder: analyses with frailty models.

The risk of recurrence in affective disorder is influenced by the number of prior episodes and by a person's tendency toward recurrence. Newly developed frailty models were used to estimate the effect of the number of episodes on the rate of recurrence, taking into account individual frailty toward recurrence. The study base was the Danish psychiatric case register of all hospital admissions for primary affective disorder in Denmark during 1971-1993. A total of 20,350 first-admission patients were discharged with a diagnosis of major affective disorder. For women with unipolar disorder and for all kinds of patients with bipolar disorder, the rate of recurrence was affected by the number of prior episodes even when the effect was adjusted for individual frailty toward recurrence. No effect of episodes but a large effect of the frailty parameter was found for unipolar men. The authors concluded that the risk of recurrence seems to increase with the number of episodes of bipolar affective disorder in general and for women with unipolar disorder.  (+info)

(2/1240) Randomized, controlled trial of long-term moderate exercise training in chronic heart failure: effects on functional capacity, quality of life, and clinical outcome.

BACKGROUND: It is still a matter of debate whether exercise training (ET) is a beneficial treatment in chronic heart failure (CHF). METHODS AND RESULTS: To determine whether long-term moderate ET improves functional capacity and quality of life in patients with CHF and whether these effects translate into a favorable outcome, 110 patients with stable CHF were initially recruited, and 99 (59+/-14 years of age; 88 men and 11 women) were randomized into 2 groups. One group (group T, n=50) underwent ET at 60% of peak &f1;O2, initially 3 times a week for 8 weeks, then twice a week for 1 year. Another group (group NT, n=49) did not exercise. At baseline and at months 2 and 14, all patients underwent a cardiopulmonary exercise test, while 74 patients (37 in group T and 37 in group NT) with ischemic heart disease underwent myocardial scintigraphy. Quality of life was assessed by questionnaire. Ninety-four patients completed the protocol (48 in group T and 46 in group NT). Changes were observed only in patients in group T. Both peak &f1;O2 and thallium activity score improved at 2 months (18% and 24%, respectively; P<0. 001 for both) and did not change further after 1 year. Quality of life also improved and paralleled peak VO2. Exercise training was associated both with lower mortality (n=9 versus n=20 for those with training versus those without; relative risk (RR)=0.37; 95% CI, 0.17 to 0.84; P=0.01) and hospital readmission for heart failure (5 versus 14; RR=0.29; 95% CI, 0.11 to 0.88; P=0.02). Independent predictors of events were ventilatory threshold at baseline (beta-coefficient=0.378) and posttraining thallium activity score (beta-coefficient -0.165). CONCLUSIONS: Long-term moderate ET determines a sustained improvement in functional capacity and quality of life in patients with CHF. This benefit seems to translate into a favorable outcome.  (+info)

(3/1240) Depression during the longitudinal course of schizophrenia.

This prospective research investigated the occurrence and persistence of depression during the longitudinal course of schizophrenia. The research goals were to (1) compare depression in schizophrenia with that in schizoaffective and major depressive disorders, (2) assess whether some schizophrenia patients are vulnerable to depression, and (3) assess the relationship of depression to posthospital adjustment in schizophrenia. A total of 70 schizophrenia, 31 schizoaffective depressed, 17 psychotic unipolar major depressed, and 69 nonpsychotic unipolar major depressed patients were assessed during hospitalization and prospectively assessed for depression, psychosis, and posthospital functioning at 4.5- and 7.5-year followups. A large number (30% to 40%) of schizophrenia patients evidenced full depressive syndromes at each followup, including a subgroup of patients who evidenced repeated depression. Even when considering the influence of psychosis on outcome, depression in schizophrenia was associated with poor overall outcome, work impairment, lower activity, dissatisfaction, and suicidal tendencies. During the post-acute phase assessed, neither the rates nor the severity of depressive syndromes differentiated depression in schizophrenia from schizodepressive or major depressive disorders. However, the depressed schizophrenia patients showed poorer posthospital adjustment in terms of less employment, more rehospitalizations, and more psychosis than the patients with primary major depression. The high prevalence of depression in schizophrenia warrants its incorporation into theory about the disorder. A continuum of vulnerability to depression contributes to the heterogeneity of schizophrenia, with some schizophrenia patients being prone to depression even years after the acute phase. Depression in schizophrenia is one factor, in addition to psychosis, associated with poor outcome and requires specific attention to the treatment strategies by psychiatrists.  (+info)

(4/1240) Need to measure outcome after discharge in surgical audit.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the accuracy of outcome data on appendicectomy routinely collected as part of a surgical audit and to investigate outcome in the non-audited period after discharge. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of audit data recorded by the Medical Data Index (MDI) computer system for all patients undergoing emergency appendicectomy in one year; subsequent analysis of their hospital notes and notes held by their general practitioners for patients identified by a questionnaire who had consulted their general practitioner for a wound complication. SETTING: One district general hospital with four consultant general surgeons serving a population of 250,000. PATIENTS: 230 patients undergoing emergency appendicectomy during 1989. MAIN MEASURES: Comparison of postoperative complications recorded in hospital notes with those recorded by the MDI system and with those recorded by patients' general practitioners after discharge. RESULTS: Of the 230 patients, 29 (13%) had a postoperative complication recorded in their hospital notes, but only 14 (6%) patients had these recorded by the MDI system. 189 (82%) of the patients completed the outcome questionnaire after discharge. The number of wound infections as recorded by the MDI system, the hospital notes, and notes held by targeted patients' general practitioners were three (1%), eight (3%), and 18 (8%) respectively. None of 12 readmissions with complications identified by the hospital notes were identified by the MDI system. CONCLUSIONS: Accurate audit of postoperative complications must be extended to the period after discharge. Computerised audit systems must be able to relate readmissions to specific previous admissions.  (+info)

(5/1240) Does a dedicated discharge coordinator improve the quality of hospital discharge?

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of the role of a discharge coordinator whose sole responsibility was to plan and coordinate the discharge of patients from medical wards. DESIGN: An intervention study in which the quality of discharge planning was assessed before and after the introduction of a discharge coordinator. Patients were interviewed on the ward before discharge and seven to 10 days after being discharged home. SETTING: The three medical wards at the Homerton Hospital in Hackney, East London. PATIENTS: 600 randomly sampled adult patients admitted to the medical wards of the study hospital, who were resident in the district (but not in institutions), were under the care of physicians (excluding psychiatry), and were discharged home from one of the medical wards. The sampling was conducted in three study phases, over 18 months. INTERVENTIONS: Phase I comprised base line data collection; in phase II data were collected after the introduction of the district discharge planning policy and a discharge form (checklist) for all patients; in phase III data were collected after the introduction of the discharge coordinator. MAIN MEASURES: The quality and out come of discharge planning. Readmission rates, duration of stay, appropriateness of days of care, patients' health and satisfaction, problems after discharge, and receipt of services. RESULTS: The discharge coordinator resulted in an improved discharge planning process, and there was a reduction in problems experienced by patients after discharge, and in perceived need for medical and healthcare services. There was no evidence that the discharge coordinator resulted in a more timely or effective provision of community services after discharge, or that the appropriateness or efficiency of bed use was improved. CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of a discharge coordinator improved the quality of discharge planning, but at additional cost.  (+info)

(6/1240) Readmission rates are associated with differences in the process of care in acute asthma.

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that sustained differences in readmission rate for acute asthma were associated with variations in clinical practice. DESIGN: Data were collected by retrospective review of case notes, using the criteria recommended by the British Thoracic Society. SETTING: Two city National Health Service (NHS) hospitals that had recorded a sustained difference in readmission rate for acute asthma. SUBJECTS: A random sample of 50 from each hospital, selected from all 16-44 year old patients discharged in 1992 with acute asthma (ninth revision of the international classification of diseases (ICD-9) 493). RESULTS: Hospital A had a lower readmission rate than hospital B. The sample groups were similar for age, sex, deprivation of area of residence, and severity of episode. Systemic corticosteroids were given early more often (p = 0.02) and oral corticosteroids were prescribed at discharge more often (p = 0.04) in hospital A. When a short course of oral corticosteroids was prescribed the duration stated was longer (p = 0.02) and inhaled corticosteroids were started or the dose increased more often (p = 0.02) in hospital A. CONCLUSIONS: These results support the hypothesis that differences in readmission rates for acute asthma are associated with variations in clinical practice. Sustained variation in readmission rates is an outcome of health care, for acute asthma. The findings also support audit of the process of hospital asthma care as a proxy for outcome.  (+info)

(7/1240) Disease management interventions to improve outcomes in congestive heart failure.

This study is part of a planned 24-month, multicenter, longitudinal comparison of a comprehensive congestive heart failure (CHF) disease management program and was designed to determine effectiveness after 12 months of implementation. The impact of interventions such as telemonitoring of patients, post-hospitalization follow-up, and provider education on selected primary outcomes (hospital admission and readmission rates, length of stay, total hospital days, and emergency room utilization) in a managed care setting was evaluated. Subjects in the study included all participants in the managed care plan, as well as 149 selected program participants. The effects of the program were analyzed for pure CHF and CHF-related diagnoses, with outcomes for the third quarter of 1996 (postintervention follow-up) being compared with those for the third quarter of 1995 (preintervention baseline). Overall, the data demonstrated significantly reduced admission and readmission rates for patients with the pure CHF diagnosis. Among the entire CHF patient population, the third quarter admission rate declined 63% (P = 0.00002), and the 30-day and 90-day readmission rates declined 75% (P = 0.02) and 74% (P = 0.004), respectively. Among program participants with pure CHF diagnoses, the 30-day readmission rate was reduced to 0, and an 83% reduction occurred for both the third quarter admission (P = 0.008) and 90-day readmission (P = 0.06) rates. In addition, the average length of stay for patients with CHF-related diagnoses was significantly reduced among both plan participants (P = 0.03) and program participants (P = 0.001). Reductions were also seen in total hospital days and emergency room utilization. These data thus indicate that a comprehensive disease management program can reduce healthcare utilization not only among CHF patients in the program but also among the entire managed care plan population.  (+info)

(8/1240) Longer hospital length of stay is not related to better clinical outcomes in congestive heart failure.

Efforts to reduce hospital lengths of stay (LOS) are prevalent, despite limited understanding of the clinical impact of duration of hospitalization. Thus, we sought to evaluate the clinical relevance of LOS in congestive heart failure (CHF) by studying its relationship to inpatient and post-discharge outcomes among individuals with this disorder. Ten acute care community hospitals in New York State participated in this investigation. The study population consisted of 1,402 consecutive patients, predominantly elderly, who were hospitalized for evaluation and treatment of moderately severe or severe CHF. The patients' medical records were abstracted by trained personnel immediately after hospital discharge. Patients were followed forward for six month's time to track death and readmission rates, as well as functional status, quality of life, and satisfaction. Mean LOS for the group was 7.9 +/- 9.2 days. Longer LOS had a neutral or negative association with patient outcomes. Specifically, longer LOS was linked to a higher adjusted mortality rate during the index hospitalization, as well as a greater adjusted risk of death during the post-discharge period. Moreover, longer LOS was associated with worse post-discharge functional class and a trend for less patient satisfaction with their physicians' care. We conclude that death becomes more prevalent and functional measures decline in association with prolonged hospital stays for heart failure. Although these findings may be of use in planning management strategies, they offer no proof that reducing the costs of care will improve clinical outcomes in CHF.  (+info)