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The Gerontologist 47:535-547 (2007)
© 2007 The Gerontological Society of America

Determinants of Remaining in the Community After Discharge: Results From New Jersey's Nursing Home Transition Program

Sandra Howell, PhD1, Mina Silberberg, PhD2, Winifred V. Quinn, PhD3 and Judith A. Lucas, EdD, RN4

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Sandra Howell-White, PhD, Senior Policy Analyst, Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, 55 Commercial Avenue, Third Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. E-mail: showell{at}

Purpose: To inform states with nursing home transition programs, we determine what risk factors are associated with participants' long-term readmission to nursing homes within 1 year after discharge. Design and Methods: We obtained administrative data for all 1,354 nursing home residents who were discharged, and we interviewed 628 transitioning through New Jersey's nursing home transition program in 2000. We used the Andersen behavioral model to select predictors of long-term nursing home readmission, and we used Cox proportional hazards regressions to examine the relative risk of experiencing such readmissions.  Results: Overall, 72.6% of the 1,354 individuals remained in the community, with 8.6% readmitted to a nursing home for long stays (>90 days) and 18.8% dying during the study year. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis showed that being male, single, and dissatisfied with one's living situation; living with others; and falling within 8 to 10 weeks after discharge were significant predictors of long-term nursing home readmission during the first year after discharge. Implications: Most of the factors predicting long-term readmission were predisposing, not need, factors. This fact points to the limits of formulaic approaches to assessing candidates for discharge and the importance of working with clients to understand and address their particular vulnerabilities. Consumers, state policy makers, nursing home transition staff, discharge planners, and caregivers can use these findings to understand and help clients understand their particular risks and options, and to identify those individuals needing the greatest attention during the transition period as well as risk-specific services such as fall-prevention programs that should be made available to them.

Key Words: Nursing home transition • Nursing home discharge • Community care • Caregivers

All GSA journals Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Copyright © 2007 by The Gerontological Society of America.