OBJECTIVES: To assess the independent association between health-related quality of life (HRQOL) at admission and mortality, functional decline, and institutionalization 3 and 12 months after admission in acutely hospitalized older adults.
DESIGN: Post hoc analysis of data from prospective cohort study, 2006 to 2009, 12-month follow-up.
SETTING: Eleven medical wards in three hospitals in the Netherlands.
PARTICIPANTS: Medical patients aged 65 and older acutely hospitalized for 48 hours or longer (N = 473).
OUTCOMES: mortality, functional decline, and institutionalization, 3 and 12 months after admission. Main determinant was HRQOL (utility based on the EuroQol-5D at admission, reflecting the relative desirability of a particular health state and is measured on a scale from 0 (death) to 1 (full health). Some health states are regarded as being worse than death, resulting in negative utilities, with a minimum of -0.330). Participants were split into two groups based on median utility at admission. Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox and logistic regression analyses, adjusted for sociodemographic and health variables.
RESULTS: Median utility was 0.775 (interquartile range 0.399-0.861). Utility greater than 0.775, indicating high HRQOL, was associated with lower risk of mortality (hazard ratio = 0.38, 95% CI = 0.18-0.83) and functional decline (OR = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.28-0.79) at 3 months in the adjusted models. At 12 months, these associations were statistically significant in the crude models but not in the adjusted models. Utility was not associated with risk of institutionalization at 3 or 12 months.
CONCLUSION: Higher HRQOL at admission was associated with lower risk of mortality and functional decline 3 months after admission. In older, acutely hospitalized individuals, the EQ-5D may provide a means of risk stratification and may ultimately guide individuals, their families, and professionals in treatment decisions during hospitalization.