Prevalence of delirium among older adults in a tertiary care referral hospital in Kerala


  • Anjana BTV Lecturer, College of Nursing, Malabar Cancer Centre, Thalassery, Kannur, Kerala
  • T K Saleem Assistant Professor, Government College of Nursing, Kozhikode, Kerala
  • K Ramesh Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala



delirium, prevalence, older adults


Background: Delirium is a common neuropsychiatric condition in older adults in medical and surgical settings. It is important to identify cognitive impairment in the elderly population early in their stay at the hospital to reduce morbidity and mortality. The literature on the prevalence of delirium in the elderly population shows that the occurrence of delirium is associated with patient factors and clinical settings. Delirium may affect the outcome of the primary medical condition in addition to the occurrence of poor compliance to treatment and long-term psychological sequela. Aim: The study aims to identify the prevalence of clinical delirium among patients at the age of 60 years or above, admitted in medical and surgical units of Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, Kerala. The study also looked into the related factors and management aspects of the condition. Methods: A cross-sectional observational method was used in a sample of 300 older adult patients who were selected using a census approach from medical and surgical inpatient units of the hospital. Clinical and personal details were collected in addition to the assessment of the participants with the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) and Nursing Delirium Screening Scale(Nu-DESC). Results: Findings of the study revealed the prevalence of delirium in older adult patients at 16%. The study also shows a significant association between the prevalence of delirium and selected clinical variables and area of admission.  Conclusion: Early identification and prompt medical and psychiatric care, and environmental manipulation will reduce the development of complications in older adults.


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How to Cite

Anjana Babu, T. V., Saleem, T. K., & Ramesh, K. (2021). Prevalence of delirium among older adults in a tertiary care referral hospital in Kerala. Kerala Journal of Psychiatry, 34(1), 27–34.



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