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Systematic review with meta-analysis
Nurse-led early discharge planning for chronic disease reduces hospital readmission rates and all-cause mortality
  1. Mary Fox
  1. York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mary Fox, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; maryfox{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • The study found that nurse-led early discharge planning programmes (DPPs) are effective in reducing hospital readmissions by 28%, hospital readmission lengths of stay by slightly more than 2 days and all-cause mortality by 30% compared to standard care defined as non-nurse led DPPs not initiated early.

  • Nurse-led early DPPs may reduce total and readmission costs.

  • Zhu and colleagues advise future researchers to standardise costs to permit meta-analyses of cost data. They also recommended future researchers to examine the effects of nurse-led early DPPs on patient quality of life and satisfaction with discharge planning.


Zhu and colleagues explain that reducing hospital length of stay and readmissions are …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.