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Background: Residents in nursing homes are generally highly dependent on others, and unplanned hospitalizations often have major impacts on their physical and cognitive functions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that affect the unplanned hospitalization of nursing home  residents.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study enrolled 98 residents from a nursing home affiliated with a regional hospital in northern Taiwan. A chart review was performed to transcribe variable data, including demographic characteristics, health status, nutritional status, and the length and frequency of unscheduled transfers to the hospital.

Results: A total of 64.3% of the residents experienced one or more unplanned hospitalization. The major causes of unplanned hospitalization were  cerebrovascular accident, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia. The factors affecting the unplanned hospitalization of residents were a Barthel index of ≤ 20 and the use of a nasogastric or urinary catheter.

Conclusion: Strengthening the management of nursing homes and developing preventive guidelines for treating residents with poor ability to perform activities of daily living or using invasive devices are crucial. By implementing preventive measures early and improving the quality of monitoring care, nursing homes can reduce the incidence of unplanned hospitalization.