Date of Conferral

2019

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Public Health

Advisor

Howell Sasser

Abstract

In the United States, congestive heart failure (CHF) is a cardiac condition with increasing hospitalization and rehospitalization burden to patients, families, and the healthcare system. This chronic condition is expected to affect more than 8 million people by 2030; however, not much is known about the relationship between risk factors and hospital readmissions once CHF patients are discharged to a skilled nursing facility (SNF). Applying a systems theory—unbounded systems thinking, coupled with a systems-thinking approach—the purpose of this quantitative, retrospective cohort study was to examine CHF hospital readmissions from SNFs within a 90-day period using a secondary data set of gender, age, race, SNF geographic location, length of SNF stay, and home health use risk factors. A binary logistic regression analysis revealed that out of 238 episodes, 99 patients were readmitted; however, no statistically significant relationship between the risk factors and readmission was found. Findings suggest that CHF readmissions from the SNF are not attributed to only quantifiable risk factors. Based on these findings, further research can support social change through multifaceted quantitative and qualitative systemic analyses to identify and inform how healthcare organizations can better assist the elderly population with CHF and improve future post-acute community-based health education and prevention programs.

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