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Frequent avoidable admissions amongst Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people with chronic conditions in new South Wales, Australia: a historical cohort study

Jayakody, A.; Oldmeadow, C.; Carey, M.; Bryant, J.; Evans, T.; Ella, S.; Attia, J.; Towle, S.; Sanson-Fisher, R.

Bmc Health Services Research 20(1): 1082

2020


ISSN/ISBN: 1472-6963
PMID: 33238996
DOI: 10.1186/s12913-020-05950-8
Accession: 071799390

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have high rates of avoidable hospital admissions for chronic conditions, however little is known about the frequency of avoidable admissions for this population. This study examined trends in avoidable admissions among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people with chronic conditions in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. A historical cohort analysis using de-identified linked administrative data of Aboriginal patients and an equal number of randomly sampled non-Aboriginal patients between 2005/06 to 2013/14. Eligible patients were admitted to a NSW public hospital and who had one or more of the following ambulatory care sensitive chronic conditions as a principal diagnosis: diabetic complications, asthma, angina, hypertension, congestive heart failure and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The primary outcomes were the number of avoidable admissions for an individual in each financial year, and whether an individual had three or more admissions compared with one to two avoidable admissions in each financial year. Poisson and logistic regression models and a test for differences in yearly trends were used to assess the frequency of avoidable admissions over time, adjusting for sociodemographic variables and restricted to those aged ≤75 years. Once eligibility criteria had been applied, there were 27,467 avoidable admissions corresponding to 19,025 patients between 2005/06 to 2013/14 (71.2% Aboriginal; 28.8% non-Aboriginal). Aboriginal patients were 15% more likely than non-Aboriginal patients to have a higher number of avoidable admissions per financial year (IRR = 1.15; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.20). Aboriginal patients were almost twice as likely as non-Aboriginal patients to experience three or more avoidable admissions per financial year (OR = 1.90; 95% CI = 1.60, 2.26). There were no significant differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in yearly trends for either the number of avoidable admissions, or whether or not an individual experienced three or more avoidable admissions per financial year (p = 0.859; 0.860 respectively). Aboriginal people were significantly more likely to experience frequent avoidable admissions over a nine-year period compared to non-Aboriginal people. These high rates reflect the need for further research into which interventions are able to successfully reduce avoidable admissions among Aboriginal people, and the importance of culturally appropriate community health care.

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