Readiness for Hospital Discharge, Health Literacy, and Social Living Status

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Abstract

Patient characteristics and lack of preparedness are associated with poor outcomes after hospital discharge. Our purpose was to explore the association between patient characteristics and patient- and nurse-completed Readiness for Hospital Discharge Scale (RHDS). We conducted a prospective study of 70 Veterans being discharged from medical and surgical units. Differences in RHDS knowledge subscale scores were found among literacy levels, with lower perceived knowledge reported for those with marginal or inadequate literacy (p = .03). Differences in RHDS expected support subscale scores were also found, with those who were unmarried and/or living alone (p < .001) anticipating less support upon discharge. No other differences were found. Similar differences were found for the RHDS completed by nurses. These findings suggest that the RHDS appears responsive to differences in health literacy and social environment, adding to evidence of its utility as a tool to identify, and plan interventions for, those at risk for readmission.

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