Predictive Validity of a Questionnaire That Identifies Older Persons at Risk for Hospital Admission

James T. Pacala, Chad Boult, Lisa Boult

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine the predictive validity of a mailed questionnaire designed to measure older adults' risk of repeated hospitalization. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Ramsey County, Minnesota. PARTICIPANTS: Medicaid recipients aged 70 and older who completed the questionnaire. MEASUREMENTS: Responses were used to calculate the subjects' probability of repeated admission (Pra) to hospitals within 4 years. Subjects were classified as low‐risk (Pra < 0.5) or high risk (Pra ≥ 0.5). One year later, Medicaid claims data were analyzed to determine the subjects' actual use of hospitals. RESULTS: One‐fifth of the respondents (20.6%) were classified as high‐risk at baseline. During the following year, the high‐risk subjects used hospitals at approximately twice the rate of the low‐risk subjects (4.5 vs 2.4 days/person‐year, P = .009). CONCLUSIONS: The instrument, which was previously found to be valid in a national sample of Medicare beneficiaries, appears to be valid also in a local sample of Medicaid beneficiaries. Older adults at risk of heavy hospital use can be identified prospectively through their responses to this brief, mailed, self‐administered questionnaire. The instrument may be useful in targeting older persons for interventions designed to prevent the need for hospital care. 1995 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-377
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes


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