Marquis D. Foreman, PhD, RN, is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago. The research was conducted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Sciences in the Graduate College, University of Illinois at Chicago and was supported under a National Research Service Award, #5 F31 NU-05837-02 from the Division of Nursing, PHS, DHHS.
Confusion in the hospitalized elderly: Incidence, onset, and associated factors
Article first published online: 19 JAN 2007
Copyright © 1989 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company
Research in Nursing & Health
Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 21–29, February 1989
How to Cite
Foreman, M. D. (1989), Confusion in the hospitalized elderly: Incidence, onset, and associated factors. Res. Nurs. Health, 12: 21–29. doi: 10.1002/nur.4770120105
- Issue published online: 19 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 19 JAN 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 1 JUN 1988
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 JUN 1988
- Manuscript Received: 21 DEC 1987
Seventy-one non-surgical patients over age 60 years were studied to obtain information about the incidence, onset and variables associated with the onset of confusion. The incidence of confusion was 38%; 27 of the 71 subjects developed confusion during hospitalization. Nineteen of the 27 patients developed confusion by the second day of hospitalization; no new cases of confusion were detected after the sixth day of hospitalization. An examination of the psychophysiologic variables associated with the onset of confusion produced a profile of the confused elderly patient. Confused patients were: hypernatremic, hypokalemic, hyperglycemic, hypotensive, had elevated blood levels of creatinine and urea nitrogen, received more medications, were more frequently perceived by nurses as confused, had more orienting objects in their immediate environment, and fewer interactions with significant others. Recommendations for the continued investigation and care of confused patients are offered.