Length of hospitalization and disposition of elderly vs younger delirium patients in psychiatric hospitals

Jeremia Heinik, Moshe Avnon, Josef Ph Hes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although it is commonly accepted that delirium patients require the full facilities of general hospitals, practical experience has shown that delirium patients of all ages continue to be admitted to psychiatric institutions. The present study was designed to detect any differences in the length of hospitalization and disposition (discharge back to the community, transfer to a general hospital, death during the index hospitalization, transfer to another psychiatric hospital) between elderly (>65 years) and younger delirium patients admitted to psychiatric hospitalization. Our hypothesis was that the prognosis (represented in this study by the above-mentioned measures) of elderly delirium patients in a psychiatric hospital would be poorer compared with younger delirium patients. We studied psychiatric case register data of 805 patients with delirium admitted to psychiatric hospitals during the period 1984-1993. Our sample was divided into four ICD-9-CM categories: delirium in dementia, delirium tremens (DT), drug-induced delirium, and acute and subacute delirium. No significant differences in the length of hospitalization were found between <65- and >65-year-old patients in the categories studied. There were disposal differences between the two age groups in the acute and subacute delirium parameters, but findings in the other categories were similar. Practical implementation of the results in terms of appropriate place of management of delirium patients in a psychiatric hospital is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-118
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Volume34
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

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