Purpose: To ascertain delirium prevalence and outcomes in COVID-19.
Methods: We conducted a point-prevalence study in a cohort of COVID-19 inpatients at University College Hospital. Delirium was defined by DSM-IV criteria. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality at 4 weeks; secondary outcomes were physical and cognitive function.
Results: In 71 patients (mean age 61, 75% men), 31 (42%) had delirium, of which only 12 (39%) had been recognised by the clinical team. At 4 weeks, 20 (28%) had died, 26 (36%) were interviewed by telephone and 21 (30%) remained as inpatients. Physical function was substantially worse in people after delirium - 50 out of 166 points (95% CI - 83 to - 17, p = 0.01). Mean cognitive scores at follow-up were similar and delirium was not associated with mortality in this sample.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that delirium is common, yet under-recognised. Delirium is associated with functional impairments in the medium term.
Keywords: Barthel Index; COVID-19; Delirium; Nottingham extended activities of daily living; Telephone interview for cognitive status.