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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008 Nov;56(11):2093-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.01963.x.

The 6- and 12-month outcomes of older medical inpatients who recover from subsyndromal delirium.

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Department of Psychiatry, St. Mary's Hospital Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



To compare the 6- and 12-month outcomes of patients who recovered from subsyndromal delirium (SSD) by 8 weeks with the outcomes of patients who did not recover or did not have an index episode.


Secondary analysis of data collected for a cohort study of the prognosis of delirium.


University-affiliated primary acute care hospital.


Older medical inpatients with prevalent, incident, or no SSD were classified into three mutually exclusive groups at 8 weeks (SSD-recovered, SSD-not recovered, no SSD) and followed up at 6 and 12 months.


The primary hierarchical composite outcome was death, institutionalization, or cognitive or functional decline at 6 and 12 months. In secondary analyses, components of the primary outcome were examined separately.


Of the 129 patients assessed at 8 weeks, 51, 47, and 31 met criteria for SSD-recovered, SSD-not recovered and no SSD, respectively. At 6 and 12 months, the primary and secondary outcomes of the SSD-recovered group were better than the outcomes of the SSD-not recovered group and, for the most part, intermediate between the outcomes of the SSD-not recovered and no SSD groups.


Recovery from SSD appears to predict better longer-term outcomes than no recovery. Efforts to identify and treat SSD in older medical inpatients may improve outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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