Delirium in elderly inpatients admitted to clinical wards Prevalence and investigation of clinical conditions in a Brazilian sample

Abstract In Brazil there is scarce data about the occurrence of delirium among hospitalized elderly patients. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of delirium among elderly patients hospitalized in clinical wards. Methods: This cross-sectional study examined a sample of elderly inpatients admitted to three clinical wards of a general hospital between July 2011 and May 2012. The presence of delirium was detected by applying the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM). Dementia diagnosis was conducted in two steps: screening and diagnosis (Cambridge Examination, CAMDEX, was applied during hospitalization at a second timepoint). Other medical diagnoses and medications in use were extracted from medical records. Results: A sample of 173 elderly inpatients was examined; mean age 71.2 years (SD: 7.8; 60-92 years); 64.2% male. Thirty-one patients were diagnosed with delirium; prevalence of 17.9% (95% CI: 12.2-23.6). Delirium was directly associated with Urinary Tract Infection, Renal Failure and Dementia (p<0.05). Conclusion: The principal findings of this study were a high prevalence of delirium and the identification of associated factors, helping to guide preventive approaches and clinical management for at-risk patients in a Brazilian sample.