Helping Seniors Plan for Posthospital Discharge Needs Before a Hospitalization Occurs: Results from the Randomized Control Trial

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Hospitalized seniors are frequently too sick to make informed decisions about their postdischarge care. Subsequently, loved ones often make support choices (eg, skilled nursing facility placement, caregivers) at discharge. We sought to advance the timeline for postacute care decisions to before a hospitalization occurs.


Investigate the effect of (PYL) on knowledge of posthospital discharge options.


Multisite randomized controlled trial.


Nonhospitalized adults, aged ≥65 years, living in urban, suburban, and rural areas of Texas, Illinois, and Indiana.


PYL is a national, publicly available tool that provides education on posthospital therapy choices and local home-based resources.


Participants completed an in-person baseline survey, followed by exposure to intervention or attention control (AC) websites, then 1-month and 3-month telephone surveys. The primary knowledge outcome was measured with 6 items (possible 0–6 points) pertaining to hospital discharge needs.


Among 385 participants randomized, mean age was 71.9 years (standard deviation 5.6) and 79.5% of participants were female. At 1 month, the intervention group had a 0.6 point change (standard deviation = 1.6) versus the AC group who had a -0.1 point change in knowledge score. Linear mixed modeling results suggest sex, health literacy level, level of education, income, and history of high blood pressure/kidney disease were significant predictors of knowledge over time. Controlling for these variables, treatment effect remained significant (P < 0.0001).


Seniors who used PYL demonstrated an increased understanding of posthospitalization and home services compared to the control group.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT0 2256072.

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