Background: Delirium is an acute confusional state that is common, preventable, and life-threatening.
Objective: The authors investigated the phenomenology of delirium severity as measured with the Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale among 441 older patients (age 65 and older) admitted with delirium in post-acute care.
Methods: Using latent class analysis, they identified four classes of psychomotor-severity subtypes of delirium: 1) hypoactive/mild; 2) hypoactive/severe; 3) mixed, with hyperactive features/severe; and 4) normal/mild.
Results: Among those with dementia (N=166), the hypoactive/mild class was associated with a higher risk of mortality. Among those without dementia (N=275), greater severity was associated with mortality, regardless of psychomotor features, when compared with the normal/mild class.
Conclusion: The data suggest that instruments measuring delirium severity and psychomotor features provide important prognostic information and should be integrated into the assessment of delirium.