Differences in long-term outcomes between ICU patients with persistent delirium, non-persistent delirium and no delirium: A longitudinal cohort study

J Crit Care. 2023 Aug:76:154277. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2023.154277. Epub 2023 Feb 18.


Purpose: Determine differences in physical, mental and cognitive outcomes 1-year post-ICU between patients with persistent delirium (PD), non-persistent delirium (NPD) and no delirium (ND).

Materials and methods: A longitudinal cohort study was performed in adult ICU patients of two hospitals admitted between July 2016-February 2020. Questionnaires on physical, mental and cognitive health, frailty and QoL were completed regarding patients' pre-ICU health status and 1-year post-ICU. Delirium data were from patients' total hospital stay. Patients were divided in PD (≥14 days delirium), NPD (<14 days delirium) or ND patients.

Results: 2400 patients completed both questionnaires, of whom 529 (22.0%) patients developed delirium; 35 (6.6%) patients had PD and 494 (93.4%) had NPD. Patients with delirium (PD or NPD) had worse outcomes in all domains compared to ND patients. Compared to NPD, more PD patients were frail (34.3% vs. 14.6%, p = 0.006) and fatigued (85.7% vs. 61.1%, p = 0.012). After adjustment, PD was significantly associated with long-term cognitive impairment only (aOR 3.90; 95%CI 1.31-11.63).

Conclusions: Patients with PD had a higher likelihood to develop cognitive impairment 1-year post-ICU compared to NPD or ND. Patients with PD and NPD were more likely to experience impairment on all health domains (i.e. physical, mental and cognitive), compared to ND patients.

Keywords: Cognitive dysfunction; Critical illness; Delirium; Intensive care units; Outcome assessment; Patient reported outcome measures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*