Up to 13% of psychiatric patients are readmitted shortly after discharge. Interventions that ensure successful transitions to community care may play a key role in preventing early readmission.
To describe and evaluate interventions applied during the transition from in-patient to out-patient care in preventing early psychiatric readmission.
Systematic review of transitional interventions among adults admitted to hospital with mental illness where the study outcome was psychiatric readmission.
The review included 15 studies with 15 non-overlapping intervention components. Absolute risk reductions of 13.6 to 37.0% were observed in statistically significant studies. Effective intervention components were: pre- and post-discharge patient psychoeducation, structured needs assessments, medication reconciliation/education, transition managers and in-patient/out-patient provider communication. Key limitations were small sample size and risk of bias.
Many effective transitional intervention components are feasible and likely to be cost-effective. Future research can provide direction about the specific components necessary and/or sufficient for preventing early psychiatric readmission.