Psychological disorders like depression, anxiety, psychosis, alcohol abuse and drug abuse are independently associated with higher all cause 30-day readmission rates for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The study was undertaken to gain a greater understanding on the role of psychological disorders on higher rates of early hospital readmission for complications of COPD. Researchers analyzed data from 5% fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with COPD between 2001 and 2011 who were hospitalized with a primary discharge diagnosis of COPD or a primary discharge diagnosis of respiratory failure. Results showed that between 2001 and 2011, 135,498 hospitalizations occurred for COPD in 80,088 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. Of these, 30,218 (22.30%) patients had one or more psychological disorders. In multivariate analyses, odds of 30-day readmission were higher in patients with COPD who had depression, anxiety, psychosis, alcohol abuse and drug abuse compared to those who did not have these disorders. These psychological disorders increased amount of variation in 30-day readmission attributed to patient characteristics by 37%.
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