Caregiver's needs as predictors of hospital readmission for the elderly in Taiwan

Yea Ing Lotus Shyu*, Min Chi Chen, Hsiao Chin Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

26 Scopus citations


The problems of caregivers are identified as one of the major causes, as well as a preventable one, for the unplanned hospital readmissions of elderly patients. Family caregivers are found to be under intense stress and burden, and to encounter many difficulties preparing themselves, both physically and mentally, for the return home from the hospital of an elderly family member. However, few studies of rehospitalization of the elderly have focused on the point of view of the family caregiver. The purpose of this study was to explore the predictors, especially the needs of the family caregiver, for rehospitalization, within a month after having been discharged, for elderly patients in Taiwan. A prospective, descriptive and correlational study, using 216 elderly patients and their family caregivers from the internal medicine wards of a medical center in Northern Taiwan was conducted. It was found that elderly patients with caregivers requesting help from a support group were 5.3 times more likely to be rehospitalized than those with caregivers that did not request such help. In addition, the odds of rehospitalization for elderly patients with some self-care ability, whose caregiver reported at least one need for social services, was 9.03 (CI=2.32-35.16) times that of those whose caregivers reported no need for social services. Based on the findings of this study, health care providers need to assess the self-care ability of their elderly patients. In addition they should assess the need for support groups and social services to caregivers before the hospital discharge of Taiwanese elders, and perhaps other Chinese populations as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1395-1403
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 04 2004


  • Discharge transition
  • Elderly persons
  • Needs of caregiver
  • Predictors
  • Rehospitalization
  • Taiwan


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