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Interventions to Reduce Hospital Readmissions in Older African Americans: A Systematic Review of Studies Including African American Patients. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities 2022 Aug 01



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OBJECTIVES: This systematic review aims to summarize interventions that effectively reduced hospital readmission rates for African Americans (AAs) aged 65 and older.

METHODS: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed for this review. Studies were identified by searching PubMed for clinical trials on reducing hospital readmission among older patients published between 1 January 1990 and 31 January 2020. Eligibility criteria for the included studies were mean or median age ≥ 65 years, AAs included in the study, randomized clinical trial or quasi-experimental design, presence of an intervention, and hospital readmission as an outcome.

RESULTS: There were 5270 articles identified and 11 were included in the final review based on eligibility criteria. The majority of studies were conducted in academic centers, were multi-center trials, and included over 200 patients, and 6-90% of participants were older AAs. The length of intervention ranged from 1 week to over a year, with readmission assessed between 30 days and 1 year. Four studies which reported interventions that significantly reduced readmissions included both inpatient (e.g., discharge planning prior to discharge) and outpatient care components (e.g., follow-ups after discharge), and the majority used a multifaceted approach.

CONCLUSION: Findings from the review suggest successful interventions to reduce readmissions among AAs aged 65 and older should include inpatient and outpatient care components at a minimum. This systematic review showed limited evidence of interventions successfully decreasing readmission in older AAs, suggesting a need for research in the area to reduce readmission disparities and improve overall health.

Author List

Bhandari S, Dawson AZ, Kobylarz Z, Walker RJ, Egede LE


Aprill Z. Dawson PhD, MPH Assistant Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Leonard E. Egede MD Center Director, Chief, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Rebekah Walker PhD Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin