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Delirium in the Emergency Department and Its Extension Into Hospitalization (DELINEATE)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jin H. Han, Vanderbilt University Identifier:
First received: July 25, 2012
Last updated: February 25, 2017
Last verified: February 2017
Delirium occurs in 10% of older emergency department (ED) patients, yet it remains poorly understood. To date, the predominance of delirium studies have been conducted in hospitalized patients and therefore have limited generalizability to the ED. Understanding ED delirium's natural course and its effect on outcomes is not well characterized. The investigators hypothesize that a significant proportion of patients who are delirious in the ED will remain delirious in the hospital, and persistent cases of ED delirium will be significantly associated with higher 6-month mortality and accelerated functional decline. To test this hypothesis, the investigators will perform a prospective cohort study that will enroll 150 older ED patients with delirium and a random selection of 150 older ED patients without delirium; both groups will comprise of admitted ED patients only. Once enrolled in the ED, the investigators will assess patients for 7 days during hospitalization and perform phone follow-up at 6-months.


Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • 6-month mortality and functional status. [ Time Frame: 6-months ]
    We will perform 6-month phone follow-up to ascertain death and functional status.

  • Emergency department delirium duration [ Time Frame: Until hospital discharge or the first 7-days of hospitalization. ]
    Patients will be enrolled in the emergency department and will be assessed for delirium daily until hospital day #7 or hospital discharge.

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples Without DNA
15-30 cc of blood

Enrollment: 228
Actual Study Start Date: March 1, 2012
Study Completion Date: April 30, 2015
Primary Completion Date: November 30, 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Delirious in the ED
Patients who were delirious in the ED at either the 0-hour or 3-hour delirium assessment.
Non-Delirious in the ED
Patients who were non-delirious in the ED at both the 0-hour or 3-hour delirium assessment.

Detailed Description:

Delirium is an acute confusional state characterized by fluctuating mental status, inattention, and either disorganized thinking or an altered level of consciousness. The prevalence of delirium in elderly patients is approximately 10% in emergency department (ED) patients. Several hospital-based studies have shown delirium to be associated with worsening mortality,longer hospital length of stay, higher health care costs,and poorer long-term functional and cognitive function.

However, delirium in the ED remains poorly understood. Specifically, its natural course is not well characterized and represents a critical gap in knowledge. Improving our understanding is paramount for several reasons. If the majority of delirium persists beyond the ED and is associated with long-term adverse outcomes, then routine delirium surveillance in the busy ED environment can be justified. Understanding the natural course may also help physicians identify delirious patients at highest risk for adverse outcomes and would be the focus of future delirium interventions. Lastly, we don't know if all patients with delirium require an admission. Understanding the natural course may help identify delirious patients that can be safely discharged home and those who require a hospital admission.

Given this paucity of data, we are conducting this study with the following specific aims: 1) To describe the frequency in which delirium in the ED persists into hospitalization and determine how patient factors and clinical factors affect delirium persistence. 2) To determine how ED delirium duration affects 6-month outcomes. To achieve these aims, we will perform a prospective cohort study thatwill enroll 125 older ED patients with delirium and a random selection of 125 older ED patients without delirium; both groups will comprise of admitted ED patients only. Once enrolled in the ED, we will assess patients for 7 days during hospitalization and perform phone follow-up at 6-months.


Ages Eligible for Study:   65 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
We will enroll 150 delirious ED patients and a random selection of 150 non-delirious ED patients who are hospitalized and reassess their delirium status daily throughout their hospitalization.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 65 Years and older
  • In an ED bed for less than 4 hours at the time of enrollment
  • Any possibility of being admitted to the hospital

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Refuse consent
  • Have been previously enrolled
  • Unarousable to verbal stimuli
  • Have severe mental retardation or severe dementia characterized by being non-verbal or unable to comprehend simple instructions at baseline
  • Deaf
  • Patient or surrogate is non-English speaking
  • Discharged from the emergency department
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01651897

United States, Tennessee
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, Tennessee, United States, 37232
Sponsors and Collaborators
Vanderbilt University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Jin H. Han, MD, MSc, Vanderbilt University Identifier: NCT01651897     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 111580
Study First Received: July 25, 2012
Last Updated: February 25, 2017

Keywords provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center:
emergency department
natural course

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms
Neurocognitive Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on April 28, 2017