Guided by Orem's theory, this study examined the influence of social environmental factors on rehospitalization among home health care patients. Living arrangement, frequency of caregiving, and type of primary informal care were found to be related to functional ability. Measurable differences in clinical status and functional ability were related to the duration that patients received home health care services until rehospitalization, with the likelihood of rehospitalization increasing proportionately to the magnitude of the differences. Social environmental factors contributed to rehospitalization (self-care deficit) through functional ability (self-care agency) by altering the balance between self-care demand (clinical status) and self-care agency.
College of Nursing, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (Dr Tao); College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Boston (Dr Ellenbecker); University of Massachusetts Boston (Dr Chen); Loewenberg School of Nursing, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee (Dr Zhan); and Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts (Dr Dalton).
Correspondence: Hong Tao, PhD, RN, College of Nursing, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, 1921 E Hartford Ave, PO Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors thank Dr Jacqueline Fawcett, who advised to form the theoretical framework applied in this study.
The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.