Delirium Superimposed on Dementia: DSD (Journal of Hospital Medicine / Medical Express)


This research investigated the influence of cognitive impairment and delirium in older adults during the 30 days following acute care hospitalisation. The authors were specifically interested in the incidence, risk factors and outcomes concerning Delirium Superimposed on Dementia (DSD).

In a sample of 139 older adults (aged over 65 years) with dementia the overall incidence of new delirium was 32%. Patients with delirium tended to have a 25% short-term mortality rate, an increased length of stay, and poorer function at discharge. They showed greater functional decline at 1 month follow-up. Interventions to increase early detection of delirium will be important for avoiding the complications of delirium and preventing unnecessary hospital re-admissions.

“Previous studies have found the cost of delirious episodes rivals those for diabetes and heart disease. Decreasing the length of stay by just one day would save more than $20 million in health care costs per year [in the USA]. Common causes of delirium are infections, dehydration and medication changes. A third of the patients in this study arrived at the hospital dehydrated”.

Read more: Hospital study finds connection between dementia, delirium and declining health.

This relates to:

Full Text Link  (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).


Fick, DM. Steis, MR. [and] Waller, JL. [et al] (2013). Delirium superimposed on dementia is associated with prolonged length of stay and poor outcomes in hospitalized older adults. Journal of Hospital Medicine: an official publication of the Society of Hospital Medicine, September 2013, Vol.8(9), pp.500-5. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

Note: Readers interested in exploring the concept of Delirium Superimposed on Dementia (DSD) might be interested in the following older publications, which are available freely, by the same team of authors:

Full Text Link (b)


Kolanowski, AM. Fick, DM. [and] Litaker, MS. [et al] (2011). Study protocol for the recreational stimulation for elders as a vehicle to resolve delirium superimposed on dementia (Reserve For DSD) trial. Trials, May 11th 2011, Vol.12, 119. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

See also:

Full Text Link (c)


Flanagan, NM. Fick, DM. (2011). Delirium superimposed on dementia. Assessment and intervention. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, November 2011, Vol.36(11), pp.19-23. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

See also:

Full Text Link (d)


Fick, DM. Steis, MR. [and] Mion, LC. [et al] (2011). Computerized decision support for delirium superimposed on dementia in older adults. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, April 2011, Vol.37(4), pp.39-47. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Acute Hospitals, Delirium, For Carers (mostly), For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), International, Management of Condition, Quick Insights, Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Delirium Superimposed on Dementia: DSD (Journal of Hospital Medicine / Medical Express)

  1. liamlee825 says:

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