Phenomenological subtypes of delirium in older persons: Patterns, prevalence, and prognosis

Frances M. Yang, Edward R. Marcantonio, Sharon K. Inouye, Dan K. Kiely, James L. Rudolph, Michael A. Fearing, Richard N. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Background: Delirium is an acute confusional state that is common, preventable, and lifethreatening. Objective: The authors investigated the phenomenology of delirium severity as measured with the Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale among 441 older patients (age 65 and older) admitted with delirium in post-acute care. Methods: Using latent class analysis, they identified four classes of psychomotor-severity subtypes of delirium: 1) hypoactive/mild; 2) hypoactive/ severe; 3) mixed, with hyperactive features/severe; and 4) normal/mild. Results: Among those with dementia (N=166), the hypoactive/mild class was associated with a higher risk of mortality. Among those without dementia (N=275), greater severity was associated with mortality, regardless of psychomotor features, when compared with the normal/mild class. Conclusion: The data suggest that instruments measuring delirium severity and psychomotor features provide important prognostic information and should be integrated into the assessment of delirium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-254
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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