Delirium assessed by Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale in advanced cancer patients admitted to an acute palliative/supportive care unit

Andrea Cortegiani, Alessandra Casuccio, Sebastiano Mercadante, Patrizia Ferrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Delirium is often unrecognized in cancer patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of delirium assessed by the Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale (MDAS) and possible associated factors on admission to an acute palliative/supportive care unit (APSCU). The secondary outcome was to assess changes in MDAS and symptom burden at time of discharge. Methods: A consecutive sample of advanced cancer patients who were admitted to an APSCU was prospectively assessed for a period of 10 months. Patient demographics, including age, gender, primary diagnosis, Karnofsky status, stage of disease, and educational level were collected. The Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) and the MDAS were measured at hospital admission and discharge. Results: A total of 314 patients were surveyed. Of 292 patients with MDAS available at T0, 74 (25.3%) and 24 (8.2%) had a MDAS of 7â12 and â¥13, respectively. At discharge, there was a significant decrease in the number of patients with a MDAS â¥7/30. Higher values of MDAS were associated with age (p =.028), a lower Karnofsky status (p <.0005), gender (male, p =.04), low level of education (p =.002), less awareness of disease (p <.0005), more indications for end-of-life care admission (p <.0005) or other symptoms (p =.026), hospital stay (p =.038) and death (p <.0005). Significant decreases in ESAS were observed in all patients independently of MDAS values (p <.0005). Conclusion: Delirium is highly prevalent in patients admitted to APSCU, characterized by a low mortality due to early referral. Comprehensive assessment and treatment may allow a decrease in the level of cognitive disorders and symptom burden.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1308
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Volume33
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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