Risk factors for hospitalizations and readmissions among individuals with sickle cell disease: results of a U.S. survey study
Objective: Hospital admissions are significant events in the care of individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD) due to associated costs and potential for quality of life compromise.
Methods: This cross-sectional cohort study evaluated risk factors for admissions and readmissions between October 2014 and March 2016 in adults with SCD (n = 201) and caregivers of children with SCD (n = 330) at six centres across the U.S. Survey items assessed social determinants of health (e.g. educational attainment, difficulty paying bills), depressive symptoms, social support, health literacy, spirituality, missed clinic appointments, and outcomes hospital admissions and 30-day readmissions in the previous year.
Results: A majority of adults (64%) and almost half of children (reported by caregivers: 43%) were admitted, and fewer readmitted (adults: 28%; children: 9%). The most common reason for hospitalization was uncontrolled pain (admission: adults: 84%, children: 69%; readmissions: adults: 83%, children: 69%). Children were less likely to have admissions/readmissions than adults (Admissions: OR: 0.35, 95% CI: [0.23,0.52]); Readmissions: 0.23 [0.13,0.41]). For all participants, missing appointments were associated with admissions (1.66 [1.07, 2.58]) and readmissions (2.68 [1.28, 6.29]), as were depressive symptoms (admissions: 1.36 [1.16,1.59]; readmissions: 1.24 [1.04, 1.49]). In adults, difficulty paying bills was associated with more admissions, (3.11 [1.47,6.62]) readmissions (3.7 [1.76,7.79]), and higher spirituality was associated with fewer readmissions (0.39 [0.18,0.81]).
Discussion: Missing appointments was significantly associated with admissions and readmissions. Findings confirm that age, mental health, financial insecurity, spirituality, and clinic attendance are all modifiable factors that are associated with admissions and readmissions; addressing them could reduce hospitalizations.