Recent Submissions

  • Evaluation of bedside tests of attention and arousal assessing delirium in Parkinson's disease, dementia, and older adults

    Stephan, Blossom C. M. (2021)
    BACKGROUNDDelirium is a serious acute neuropsychiatric condition associated with altered attention and arousal.OBJECTIVETo evaluate simple bedside tests for attention and arousal to detect delirium in those with and without Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia.METHODSParticipants from two prospective delirium studies were pooled comprising 30 with PD without cognitive impairment, 24 with Lewy body cognitive impairment (PD dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies), 16 with another dementia and 179 PD and dementia-free older adults. Participants completed standardised delirium assessments including tests of attention: digit span, Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale (MDAS) attention and months of the year backwards; and arousal: Glasgow Coma Scale (GSC), Observational Scale of Level of Arousal (OSLA), Modified Richmond Agitation Scale and MDAS consciousness. Delirium was diagnosed using the DSM-5 criteria.RESULTSOn their first admission, 21.7%participants had prevalent delirium. Arousal measures accurately detected delirium in all participants (p <  0.01 for all), but only selected attention measures detected delirium in PD and dementia. In PD and dementia-free older adults, impaired digit span and OSLA were the optimal tests to detect delirium (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.838, p <  0.001) while in PD and dementia the optimal tests were MDAS attention and GCS LB.CONCLUSIONSimple bedside tests of attention and arousal at a single visit could accurately detect delirium in PD, dementia and PD and dementia-free older adults; however, the optimal tests differed between groups. Combined attention and arousal scores increased accuracy, which could have clinical utility to aid the identification of delirium neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Hospitalisation without delirium is not associated with cognitive decline in a population-based sample of older people-results from a nested, longitudinal cohort study

    Stephan, Blossom C. M. (2021)
    BACKGROUNDAcute hospitalisation and delirium have individually been shown to adversely affect trajectories of cognitive decline but have not previously been considered together. This work aimed to explore the impact on cognition of hospital admission with and without delirium, compared to a control group with no hospital admissions.METHODSThe Delirium and Cognitive Impact in Dementia (DECIDE) study was nested within the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study II (CFAS II)-Newcastle cohort. CFAS II participants completed two baseline interviews, including the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). During 2016, surviving participants from CFAS II-Newcastle were recruited to DECIDE on admission to hospital. Participants were reviewed daily to determine delirium status.During 2017, all DECIDE participants and age, sex and years of education matched controls without hospital admissions during 2016 were invited to repeat the CFAS II interview. Delirium was excluded in the control group using the Informant Assessment of Geriatric Delirium Scale (i-AGeD). Linear mixed effects modelling determined predictors of cognitive decline.RESULTSDuring 2016, 82 of 205 (40%) DECIDE participants had at least one episode of delirium. At 1 year, 135 of 205 hospitalised participants completed an interview along with 100 controls. No controls experienced delirium (i-AGeD>4). Delirium was associated with a faster rate of cognitive decline compared to those without delirium (β = -2.2, P < 0.001), but number of hospital admissions was not (P = 0.447).CONCLUSIONSThese results suggest that delirium during hospitalisation rather than hospitalisation per se is a risk factor for future cognitive decline, emphasising the need for dementia prevention studies that focus on delirium intervention.
  • Delirium and delirium severity predict the trajectory of the Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM) in hospitalised older people: findings from the DECIDE Study

    Stephan, Blossom C. M. (2021)
    BACKGROUNDDelirium is common, distressing and associated with poor outcomes. Despite this, delirium remains poorly recognised, resulting in worse outcomes. There is an urgent need for methods to objectively assess for delirium. Physical function has been proposed as a potential surrogate marker, but few studies have monitored physical function in the context of delirium. We examined if trajectories of physical function are affected by the presence and severity of delirium in a representative sample of hospitalised participants over 65 years.METHODSDuring hospital admissions in 2016, we assessed participants from the DECIDE study daily for delirium and physical function, using the Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM). We used linear mixed models to assess the effect of delirium and delirium severity during admission on HABAM trajectory.RESULTSOf 178 participants, 58 experienced delirium during admission. Median HABAM scores in those with delirium were significantly higher (indicating worse mobility) than those without delirium. Modelling HABAM trajectories, HABAM scores at first assessment were worse in those with delirium than those without, by 0.76 (95% CI: 0.49-1.04) points. Participants with severe delirium experienced a much greater perturbance in their physical function, with an even lower value at first assessment and slower subsequent improvement.CONCLUSIONSPhysical function was worse in those with delirium compared to without. This supports the assertion that motor disturbances are a core feature of delirium and monitoring physical function, using a tool such as the HABAM, may have clinical utility as a surrogate marker for delirium and its resolution.
  • Recurrent delirium over 12 months predicts dementia: results of the Delirium and Cognitive Impact in Dementia (DECIDE) study

    Stephan, Blossom C. M. (2020)
    BACKGROUNDDelirium is common, distressing and associated with poor outcomes. Previous studies investigating the impact of delirium on cognitive outcomes have been limited by incomplete ascertainment of baseline cognition or lack of prospective delirium assessments. This study quantified the association between delirium and cognitive function over time by prospectively ascertaining delirium in a cohort aged ≥ 65 years in whom baseline cognition had previously been established.METHODSFor 12 months, we assessed participants from the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study II-Newcastle for delirium daily during hospital admissions. At 1-year, we assessed cognitive decline and dementia in those with and without delirium. We evaluated the effect of delirium (including its duration and number of episodes) on cognitive function over time, independently of baseline cognition and illness severity.RESULTSEighty two of 205 participants recruited developed delirium in hospital (40%). One-year outcome data were available for 173 participants: 18 had a new dementia diagnosis, 38 had died. Delirium was associated with cognitive decline (-1.8 Mini-Mental State Examination points [95% CI -3.5 to -0.2]) and an increased risk of new dementia diagnosis at follow up (OR 8.8 [95% CI 1.9-41.4]). More than one episode and more days with delirium (>5 days) were associated with worse cognitive outcomes.CONCLUSIONSDelirium increases risk of future cognitive decline and dementia, independent of illness severity and baseline cognition, with more episodes associated with worse cognitive outcomes. Given that delirium has been shown to be preventable in some cases, we propose that delirium is a potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia.
  • Evaluation of a medical and mental health unit compared with standard care for older people whose emergency admission to an acute general hospital is complicated by concurrent 'confusion': A controlled clinical trial. Acronym: TEAM: Trial of an Elderly Acute care Medical and mental health unit

    Jones, Rob G. (2011)
    Background: Patients with delirium and dementia admitted to general hospitals have poor outcomes, and their carers report poor experiences. We developed an acute geriatric medical ward into a specialist Medical and Mental Health Unit over an eighteen month period. Additional specialist mental health staff were employed, other staff were trained in the 'person-centred' dementia care approach, a programme of meaningful activity was devised, the environment adapted to the needs of people with cognitive impairment, and attention given to communication with family carers. We hypothesise that patients managed on this ward will have better outcomes than those receiving standard care, and that such care will be cost-effective. Methods/design: We will perform a controlled clinical trial comparing in-patient management on a specialist Medical and Mental Health Unit with standard care. Study participants are patients over the age of 65, admitted as an emergency to a single general hospital, and identified on the Acute Medical Admissions Unit as being 'confused'. Sample size is 300 per group. The evaluation design has been adapted to accommodate pressures on bed management and patient flows. If beds are available on the specialist Unit, the clinical service allocates patients at random between the Unit and standard care on general or geriatric medical wards. Once admitted, randomised patients and their carers are invited to take part in a follow up study, and baseline data are collected. Quality of care and patient experience are assessed in a non-participant observer study. Outcomes are ascertained at a follow up home visit 90 days after randomisation, by a researcher blind to allocation. The primary outcome is days spent at home (for those admitted from home), or days spent in the same care home (if admitted from a care home). Secondary outcomes include mortality, institutionalisation, resource use, and scaled outcome measures, including quality of life, cognitive function, disability, behavioural and psychological symptoms, carer strain and carer satisfaction with hospital care. Analyses will comprise comparisons of process, outcomes and costs between the specialist unit and standard care treatment groups.
  • The diagnosis, prevalence and outcome of delirium in a cohort of older people with mental health problems on general hospital wards

    Jones, Rob G. (2014)
    ObjectivesThis paper aimed to measure the prevalence and outcomes of delirium for patients over 70 admitted to a general hospital for acute medical care and to assess the validity of the Delirium Rating Scale-Revised-98 (DRS-R-98) in this setting. MethodsProspective study in a British acute general hospital providing sole emergency medical services for its locality. We screened consecutive patients over 70 with an unplanned emergency hospital admission and recruited a cohort of 249 patients likely to have mental health problems. They were assessed for health status at baseline and followed over 6months. A sub-sample of 93 participants was assessed clinically for delirium. Results27% (95% confidence interval (CI) 23-31) of all older medical patients admitted to hospital had DRS-diagnosed delirium, and 41% (95% CI 37-45) had dementia (including 19% with co-morbid delirium and dementia). Compared with clinician diagnosis, DRS-R-98 sensitivity was at least 0.75, specificity 0.71. Compared with reversible cognitive impairment, sensitivity was at least 0.50, specificity 0.67. DRS-diagnosed delirium was associated with cognitive impairment, mood, behavioural and psychological symptoms, activities of daily living, and number of drugs prescribed, supporting construct validity. Of those with DRS-diagnosed delirium, 37% died within 6months (relative risk 1.4, 95% CI 0.97-2.2), 43% had reversible cognitive impairment, but only 25% had clinically important recovery in activities of daily living. Behavioural and psychological symptoms were common and mostly resolved, but new symptoms frequently developed. ConclusionDelirium is common. Some, but not all, features are reversible. DRS-R-98 has reasonable validity in populations where co-morbid dementia is prevalent. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Cholinesterase inhibitors for the treatment of delirium in non-ICU settings

    Dening, Tom; Xia, Jun (2017)
    This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of cholinesterase inhibitors for treating established delirium in people in a non-ICU setting. © 2017 The Cochrane Collaboration.