Predictors of unplanned hospitalisation in the older population: The role of polypharmacy and other medication and chronic disease-related factors

Nashwa Masnoon, Sepehr Shakib, Lisa Kalisch Ellett, Gillian E. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify demographic and medication-related predictors of unplanned hospitalisation and combine them into a hospitalisation risk score. Methods: Patients aged ≥65 years from an outpatient multimorbidity clinic were included. Hospitalisation predictors within a year of clinic discharge were identified using logistic regression. A risk score was developed. The area under the curve (AUC) was used to assess its predictive ability, compared to that of the medicines count (definition of polypharmacy). Results: A total of 598 patients were included (median age of 80.0 years). 58.0% (n = 347) were hospitalised within a year of clinic discharge. The AUC for the risk score incorporating age, medicines count, heart failure (HF), atherosclerotic disease and systemic steroids was 0.67 [95% CI 0.62-0.71], compared to 0.62 [95% CI 0.58-0.67] for the medicines count. Conclusion: A hospitalisation risk score incorporating demographics, medicines, namely steroids, and diseases such as HF had increased predictive ability compared to the medicines count, providing guidance for developing future polypharmacy tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e436-e446
JournalAustralasian journal on ageing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 13 Feb 2020


  • geriatrics
  • hospitalisation
  • pharmacy research
  • polypharmacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this