Original research: Prediction models for hospital readmissions in patients with heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Bastiaan Van Grootven, Patricia Jepma, Corinne Rijpkema, Lotte Verweij, Mariska Leeflang, Joost Daams, Mieke Deschodt, Koen Milisen, Johan Flamaing, Bianca Buurman

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Objective: To describe the discrimination and calibration of clinical prediction models, identify characteristics that contribute to better predictions and investigate predictors that are associated with unplanned hospital readmissions.
Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Data source: Medline, EMBASE, ICTPR (for study protocols) and Web of Science (for conference proceedings) were searched up to 25 August 2020.
Eligibility criteria for selecting studies: Studies were eligible if they reported on (1) hospitalised adult patients with acute heart disease; (2) a clinical presentation of prediction models with c-statistic; (3) unplanned hospital readmission within 6 months. 
Primary and secondary outcome measures: Model discrimination for unplanned hospital readmission within 6 months measured using concordance (c) statistics and model calibration. Meta-regression and subgroup analyses were performed to investigate predefined sources of heterogeneity. Outcome measures from models reported in multiple independent cohorts and similarly defined risk predictors were pooled.
Results: Sixty studies describing 81 models were included: 43 models were newly developed, and 38 were externally validated. Included populations were mainly patients with heart failure (HF) (n=29). The average age ranged between 56.5 and 84 years. The incidence of readmission ranged from 3% to 43%. Risk of bias (RoB) was high in almost all studies. The c-statistic was <0.7 in 72 models, between 0.7 and 0.8 in 16 models and >0.8 in 5 models. The study population, data source and number of predictors were significant moderators for the discrimination. Calibration was reported for 27 models. Only the GRACE (Global Registration of Acute Coronary Events) score had adequate discrimination in independent cohorts (0.78, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.86). Eighteen predictors were pooled. 
Conclusion: Some promising models require updating and validation before use in clinical practice. The lack of independent validation studies, high RoB and low consistency in measured predictors limit their applicability.
PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020159839.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere047576
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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