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Psychiatry Investigation 2005;2(1):80-2.
Delirium in Acute Elderly Care Unit; Prevalence, Clinical Characteristics, Risk Factors and Prognostic Significance
Ki-Dong Yu, MD1;Tae-Joo Lee, MD2;Kwang-il Kim, MD1; and Cheol-Ho Kim, MD, PhD1;
1;Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do, 2;Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
Abstract

Delirium is a complex geriatric syndrome with acute onset and fluctuating course. It is common in all medical setting. However, it is frequently unrecognized by the clinicians. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of delirium and to determine the risk factors for delirium in hospitalized older patients. We studied 172 patients aged 65 years or older from May 2004 to Sep 2004. Delirium was diagnosed by daily interviews according to the DSM-IV criteria for delirium and the Confusion Assessment Method. Delirium developed in 33 (19.2%) patients with a mean onset of hospital day 5 (1-20 days). Seventy percent of delirious patients were classified as hyperactive type, the others as mixed type or hypoactive type. Patients with delirium were associated with prolonged hospital stay and increased mortality. Multiple logistic regression revealed that dementia, sleep deprivation, and immobilization were independent predictor of delirium. Delirium is common and leads to adverse clinical outcomes in hospitalized elderly patients. These results have important implication for the management of elderly in acute care setting.

Key words   Delirium;Risk factors;Dementia;Immobilization;Acute elderly care unit
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