Delirium upon admission to Swiss nursing homes

von Gunten, Adrian; Mosimann, Urs Peter (2010). Delirium upon admission to Swiss nursing homes. Swiss medical weekly, 140(25-26), pp. 376-381. Muttenz: EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag

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QUESTIONS UNDER STUDY: We wished to investigate the prevalence of delirium in patients upon admission to nursing homes and whether or not the previous place of residence predicts delirium. METHODS: The Resident Assessment Instrument Minimum Data Set (RAI-MDS) and the Nursing Home Confusion Assessment Method (NHCAM) were used to determine whether the previous place of residence (community, nursing home, acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation hospital) predicted the prevalence of sub-syndromal or full delirium in nursing home residents in three Swiss cantons (n = 11745). RESULTS: 39.7% had sub-syndromal and 6.5% had full delirium. Lower cognitive performance and increased depressive symptoms were significant predictors of higher NHCAM values independent of previous residence. Age, civil status, continence, newly introduced drugs, and basic activities of daily living were predictors in some resident groups. The variance of NHCAM scores explained varied between 25.1% and 32.3% depending on previous residence. CONCLUSIONS: Sub-syndromal and full delirium are common upon nursing home admission. Increased dependence and depression are consistently associated with higher NHCAM scores. Patients from psychiatric settings have an increased risk of delirium. Although factors associated with delirium depend on a patient's previous residence, all patients must be carefully screened for sub-syndromal and full delirium.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Mosimann, Urs Peter




EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:13

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2014 07:40

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Web of Science ID:




URI: (FactScience: 206113)

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