Clinical profile of acute confusion in the long-term care setting

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Clin Nurs Res

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Clinical nursing research

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


Start Page


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Aspects of acute confusion (AC) including risk factors, behavior patterns, and outcomes are not well documented in long-term care (LTC) residents. The purpose of this prospective study was to describe the clinical profile of AC in LTC including risk factors, behavior patterns, etiologies, and 3-month outcomes. Seventy-four elderly LTC residents were assessed for AC, depression, and global cognitive impairment. Risk factors associated with AC included hearing deficits, depression, pulmonary disorders, and abnormal serum sodium or potassium levels. Behavior patterns of acutely confused residents included hyperactive (n = 9, 31%), hypoactive (n = 8, 28%), and mixed (n = 7, 24%). In the majority of the AC cases, the etiology was multIfactorial infections and dehydration were the most common causes. Residents with AC had very poor 3-month outcomes. Thirty-four percent (n = 10) of the residents with AC died within 3 months of the evaluation. This study highlights the complexity and serious nature of AC in this frail population.


Confusion -- In Old Age, Long Term Care, Nursing Home Patients, Aged, Aged, 80 and Over, Chi Square Test, Confusion -- Epidemiology, Confusion -- Etiology, Confusion -- Symptoms, Cross Sectional Studies, Data Analysis Software, Depression, Descriptive Research, Descriptive Statistics, Female, Fluid-Electrolyte Imbalance, Geriatric Depression Scale, Hearing Disorders, Male, Medical Records, Mortality, Nursing Homes, Outcomes (Health Care) -- Evaluation, Pearson's Correlation Coefficient, Prospective Studies, Psychological Tests, Record Review, Risk Factors, Sample Size, Human

Published Article/Book Citation

Clinical nursing research, 12:2 (2003) pp.145-158.

Recommended Citation

Clinical nursing research. 2003 May;12(2):145-158.

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