Preoperative Risk Factors for Subsyndromal Delirium in Older Adults Who Undergo Joint Replacement Surgery

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Older adults with subsyndromal delirium have similar risks for adverse outcomes following joint replacement surgery as those who suffer from delirium.


This study examined relationships among subsyndromal delirium and select preoperative risk factors in older adults following major orthopaedic surgery.


Delirium assessments of a sample of 62 adults 65 years of age or older were completed on postoperative Days 1, 2, and 3 following joint replacement surgery. Data were analyzed for relationships among delirium symptoms and the following preoperative risk factors: increased comorbidity burden, cognitive impairment, fall history, and preoperative fasting time.


Postoperative subsyndromal delirium occurred in 68% of study participants. A recent fall history and a longer preoperative fasting time were associated with delirium symptoms (p ≤ .05).


Older adults with a recent history of falls within the past 6 months or a longer duration of preoperative fasting time may be at higher risk for delirium symptoms following joint replacement surgery.

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