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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


RESTREPO BERNAL, Diana et al. Delirium: Incidence and Clinical and Epidemiological Characteristics in a Teaching Hospital. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2009, vol.38, n.3, pp.471-487. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: Delirium is a frequent and serious acute neuropsychiatric syndrome with core features of inattention and global cognitive dysfunction. Delirium can be considered a hospital care complication which might be prevented. Objectives: To determine the incidence and epidemiological profile of delirium in a teaching hospital in Medellin, Colombia. Method: A transversal section descriptive prospective study was carried out. Patients over 18 years of age were assessed to determine the presence of delirium and related clinical and sociodemographic features. Results: 421 patients were studied of whom 29 met the diagnostic criteria for delirium according to CAM, and the diagnostic criteria of DSM-IV-TR. The delirium incidence proportion was 6.9%. 62.1% of patients with delirium were male and the average age was 64 years. Motor subtypes were mixed, hyperactive, hypoactive, and 6.9% had no motor disturbance. In 86.2% of the patients delirium was due to multiple etiologies. The average days of hospitalization were 37 days. Delirium was identified by treating pysicians in 75.9% of the patients. Of these, 59% improved and 13.8% died during hospitalization. Conclusion: Delirium is a frequent clinical condition in the general hospital associated with an extended stay at the hospital and high mortality.

Keywords : Delirium; incidence; epidemiology.

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