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Review: evidence of the effectiveness of discharge planning is equivocal

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 QUESTION: Does discharge planning from hospital to home improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (1966–96), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1980–96), Sigle (1980–96), Bioethics (1985–96), Health Plan (all years), Assia (all years), PsycLIT (1974–96), CINAHL (1982–96), the Cochrane Library (all years), EconLit (1969–96), Social Science Citation Index (1992–6), and the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) specialised register; reviewing reference lists of relevant articles; and contacting experts.

Study selection

Randomised controlled trials and other controlled trials were selected if they included patients in acute, rehabilitation, or community hospitals and assessed a discharge planning intervention (development of an individualised discharge …

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  • Source of funding: National Health Service Research and Development.

  • For correspondence: Dr S Shepperd, Department of Primary Care, University of Oxford, Old Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK. Fax +44 (0)1865 227 036.