Delirium cost-effectiveness of therapy

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Pratik Bahekar, MBBS [2]; Vishal Khurana, M.B.B.S., M.D. [3]


Delirium worsen prognosis of an illness and results in more health care costs. Focus should be on prevention and early identification of delirium.

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

  • In the USA, the cost of a patient admission with delirium is estimated at between $16k and $64k, suggesting the national burden of delirium may range from $38 bn to $150 bn per year (2008 estimate).[1]
  • In the UK, the cost is estimated as £13k per admission.[2]
  • Delirium results in the following:
  • Increased health care costs
  • Higher incidence of death[3]
  • Rise in the duration of the hospital stay by an average of eight days
  • Worse physical and cognitive recovery in 6 - 12 months with increased time in institutional care
  • One-third patient do not achieve complete recovery from delirium, and they tend to have a worse prognosis.
  • Patients may have recollections of the event that they find unpleasant and disturbing.[4]


  1. Leslie, DL (Jan 14, 2008). "One-year health care costs associated with delirium in the elderly population". Archives of Internal Medicine. 168 (1): 27–32. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2007.4. PMID 18195192. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  2. Akunne, A (May 2012). "Cost-effectiveness of multi-component interventions to prevent delirium in older people admitted to medical wards". Age and ageing. 41 (3): 285–91. doi:10.1093/ageing/afr147. PMID 22282171. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  3. "What are the opportunities f... [J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI".
  4. "Delirium in elderly people. [Lancet. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI". Text " accessdate " ignored (help)

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