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Post-discharge support decreases readmissions for patients with depression; implementation barriers must be resolved

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New research published in the Annals of Family Medicine examined whether an enhanced 12-week post-discharge telehealth program would lead to reduced hospital readmission among patients who were hospitalized for a medical illness and tested positive for moderate to severe depressive symptoms while being cared for as in-patients.

Among patients hospitalized for acute conditions, comorbid depressive symptoms jeopardize a safe transition from hospital to home. Participants were randomized to either a nationally disseminated readmission reduction program, the Re-Engineered Discharge (Project RED) program, or to an enhanced version of the same discharge program (RED-D). This expanded version of Project RED offered patients the standard support services with additional telehealth support, including patient navigation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and self-management support over a 12-week period after being discharged from the hospital.

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