Effectiveness of transitional care interventions for chronic illnesses: A systematic review of reviews

Jee Young Joo, Megan F. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This systematic review of reviews aims to critically evaluate and synthesize findings from recent systematic reviews to analyze the effectiveness of transitional care interventions in the management of adult patients with chronic illnesses. Background: Transitional care interventions have been provided to patients with chronic illnesses for reducing fragmented care and hospital readmissions after discharge. However, the effectiveness of the interventions on outcomes other than hospital readmissions is still unclear. Review methods: This study used the systematic review of systematic reviews methodology. From five electronic databases, systematic reviews published between January 2011 and December 2020 and those that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria were searched and screened to retrieve recent evidence. Results: Eight systematic reviews that met the inclusion criteria and had high methodological quality were included. All included transitional care interventions aimed to reduce fragmented care and hospital admissions and improve health care outcomes in chronically ill patients. On summarizing and synthesizing the data, four common outcomes—hospital readmissions, quality of life, mortality, and health care cost savings—were retrieved. There was evidence regarding the effectiveness of transitional care on health care cost savings; however, other outcomes showed mixed results. Conclusions: Transitional care interventions are effective for patients with chronic illnesses. It is important to have standardized outcome measures; therefore, it is recommended to fund research and reimbursement of transitional care practices. The findings and implications of this review are important to nurse managers, health care practitioners, researchers, and policymakers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151485
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Chronic illness
  • Hospital readmission
  • Review of reviews
  • Systematic review
  • Transitional care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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