29 August 2017
Readmission after hospital discharge is common in patients with acute exacerbations (AE) of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although frailty predicts hospital readmission in patients with chronic nonpulmonary diseases, no multidimensional frailty measures have been validated to stratify the risk for patients with COPD.
The aim of this study was to explore multidimensional frailty as a potential risk factor for readmission due to a new exacerbation episode during the 90 days after hospitalization for AE-COPD and to test whether frailty could improve the identification of patients at high risk of readmission. We hypothesized that patients with moderate-to-severe frailty would be at greater risk for readmission within that period of follow up. A secondary aim was to test whether frailty could improve the accuracy with which to discriminate patients with a high risk of readmission. Our investigation was part of a wider study protocol with additional aims on the same study population.
Frailty, demographics, and disease-related factors were measured prospectively in 102 patients during hospitalization for AE-COPD. Some of the baseline data reported were collected as part of a previously study. Readmission data were obtained on the basis of the discharge summary from patients’ electronic files by a researcher blinded to the measurements made in the previous hospitalization. The association between frailty and readmission was assessed using bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression models. Whether frailty better identifies patients at high risk for readmission was evaluated by area under the receiver operator curve (AUC).
Severely frail patients were much more likely to be readmitted than nonfrail patients (45% versus 18%). After adjusting for age and relevant disease-related factors in a final multivariate model, severe frailty remained an independent risk factor for 90-day readmission (odds ratio = 5.19; 95% confidence interval: 1.26–21.50). Age, number of hospitalizations for exacerbations in the previous year and length of stay were also significant in this model. Additionally, frailty improved the predictive accuracy of readmission by improving the AUC.
Multidimensional frailty predicts the risk of early hospital readmission in patients hospitalized for AE-COPD. Frailty improved the accuracy of discriminating patients at high risk for readmission. Identifying patients with frailty for targeted interventions may reduce early readmission rates.