High patient anxiety post-kidney transplant linked to higher 30-day readmissions

Kidney transplant patients with high levels of anxiety one week post-discharge were two times more likely to be readmitted within 30 days, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Surgical Research. The new study suggests hospitals should take measures to reduce patient anxiety prior to discharge.

For the study, researchers interviewed 20 kidney transplant recipients. Based upon findings from these interviews, researchers created structured surveys. These surveys were administered to 77 kidney transplant recipients. Analysis revealed that patients with high levels of anxiety were more than twice as likely to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge as their less-anxious counterparts.

Researchers then assessed the surveys to determine the impact of care quality and empathetic care delivery on patient anxiety levels one week after discharge. Researchers identified high levels of anxiety in patients who received inconsistent directions and insufficient empathy on the part of physicians and nurses. An example of convoluted instructions identified by the study included one nurse recommending a patient drink a lot of fluids, another advising the same patient to consume two liters of fluid a day and yet another recommending the patient consume 100 ounces a day.

"The more patient-centric the care, the more trust the patient had in the information provided, the lower the anxiety level after discharge," said Aravind Chandrasekaran, PhD, study co-author and an associate professor of operations and associate director of Fisher's Center for Operational Excellence at Ohio State University in Columbus. "If you're anxious, you're going to come back."

More articles on quality: 
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Integrating behavioral and primary care can improve care quality, study finds

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