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Table 2 Characteristics, outcome measures, and feasibility of included studies

From: The effect of a telephone follow-up call for older patients, discharged home from the emergency department on health-related outcomes: a systematic review of controlled studies

Characteristics Biese et.al. 2014 [26] Biese et.al. 2018 [27]
Setting, country Academic center ED, USA Academic center ED, USA
Study design RCT RCT
Aim(s) To investigate whether an ED postdischarge telephone intervention by nurse improves discharge plan adherence. To investigate whether an ED postdischarge telephone intervention by call-center nurse decreases ED return visit rates, hospitalization or death within 30 days after ED visit.
Study period From September 5 until November 9, 2010 From August 2013 to March 2016
Study patients Patients ≥65 years, discharged home from ED Patients ≥65 years, discharged home from ED
Recruitment of study patients Randomization before first call
Recruitment by telephone after mental cognition screening examination was passed and informed consent was obtained.
Recruitment by telephone after mental cognition screening examination was passed and informed consent was obtained.
Subsequent randomization.
Description of intervention: intervention group Telephone call following pre-written script from trained study nurse within 1–3 days after ED discharge to review discharge instructions and offer assistance with discharge plan compliance. Telephone call following pre-written script from call-center nurse within 1–3 days after ED discharge to identify problems, review discharge instructions and offer assistance with discharge plan compliance, advice if not feeling well.
Description of intervention: control group(s) Placebo group: scripted patient satisfaction survey telephone call from research assistant 1–3 days after ED discharge.
Control group: no telephone intervention
Scripted patient satisfaction survey telephone call from call-center nurse 1–3 days after ED discharge.
Sample size Intervention group: n=39; placebo group: n=35; control group: n=46 Intervention group: n=999; control group: n=1001
Outcome measures Primary outcome measures:
Scheduled physician appointment within 5 days.
Filled medication prescription.
Knowledge of name, dosage, indication of prescribed medication.
Primary outcome measures:
Days from ED discharge to ED return visit, 30-day hospitalization or death.
Secondary outcome measures:
35-day hospitalization
35-day ED return visits
Secondary outcome measures:
Scheduled physician appointment within 30 days.
Difficulty acquiring prescribed medication.
Results of outcome measures Primary outcome measures:
Physician appointment ≤ 5 days: 54% (I), 20% (P), 37%(C); p=0.04
Filled prescription: 96% (I), 94%(P), 94% (C); NS.
Knowledge name/dosage of medication: 92%(I), 94%(P), 89%(C); NS.
Knowledge of reason for medication: 96%(I), 100% (P), 100%(C); NS.
Primary outcome measures:
ED return visits ≤30 days: 12.2% (I) vs. 12.5% (C); NS.
Hospitalization ≤30 days: 9.0% (I) vs. 7.4%(C); NS.
Death ≤30 days: 0%(I) vs. 0.51% (C); NS.
Secondary outcome measures:
ED return visits/hospitalization ≤35 days: 22%(I), 33%(P), 27%(C); NS.
Secondary outcome measures:
Physician appointment ≤ 30 days: 80.8% (I) vs. 80.8%(C); NS.
Difficulty acquiring medication: 15.5% (I) vs. 15.6%(C); NS.
Feasibility 178 eligible patients: 120 (67%) included, 18 (10%) declined and 19 (11%) not reached during follow-up. 12 (7%) Were disqualified from primary outcome analysis, because of return to ED or other hospital setting within 5 days. Three were excluded for other reasons. Six had incomplete surveys.
No patients failed mental screening examination. Inclusions only on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and not more than 9 inclusions per day.
Of the 6463 eligible patients, 2000 (31%) consented to participate. 2712 (42%) Patients were not reached, 1683 (45%) patients who were reached declined participation, 37 were lost on call back and 31 failed mental screening examination.
Inclusions 24/7.
  1. C control group, ED emergency department, I intervention group, NS not significant (p>0.05), P placebo group, RCT randomized controlled trial, USA United States of America