Behavioral observations reflected on consultation requests from primary medical-surgical services: are they predictive of delirium diagnosis and outcomes?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: We studied 405 patients evaluated by the Psychosomatics Service to investigate whether the behavioral description as reflected on consultation request from primary medical-surgical teams could be utilized to predict the final clinical diagnosis of delirium. We explored whether outcomes differed in patient with delirium with different consultation requests. METHODS: Patients with delirium (n=114) were divided into subtypes based on consultation requests for the management for cognitive dysfunction [altered mental status (AMS), n=46], for agitation or behavior disturbance (BEH, n=26), for depression (DEP, n=18), and for all other reasons (MISC, n=33). Adjusted multivariate regression models were used to examine group differences. RESULTS: Consult requests for AMS had a high likelihood ratio (LR+=14.22) and requests for BEH had moderately high likelihood ratio (LR+=4.79) of receiving a diagnosis of delirium. The DEP group (n=18) tended to be younger and had higher 30-day readmission rates. The BEH group (n=26) had more comorbid systemic medical conditions, higher rate of being discharged to home, and lower mortality rate. Delirium subtypes did not show any significant difference in clinical outcomes. CONCLUSION: Behavioral observations on consultation requests as formulated by primary medical-surgical teams may be useful in the classification of patients with delirium. Whether the behavioral observations on the request may be used to predict delirium outcomes deserves further research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Xiong, GL; Wiechers, IR; Bourgeois, JA; Gagliardi, JP

Published Date

  • February 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 66 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 177 - 181

PubMed ID

  • 19154861

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3999

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2008.08.003


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England