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

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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

PURPOSE:

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

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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).

CONCLUSIONS:

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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