Skip to main content


Weitere Artikel dieser Ausgabe durch Wischen aufrufen

01.01.2016 | Originalien | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie 1/2016

What does delirium cost?

An economic evaluation of hyperactive delirium

Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie > Ausgabe 1/2016
M.D., M.Sc. Dr. W. Weinrebe, E. Johannsdottir, M. Karaman, I. Füsgen



Demographic changes have resulted in an increase in the number of older (> 75 years) multimorbid patients in clinics. In addition to the primary acute diagnoses that lead to hospitalization, this group of patients often has cognitive dysfunctions, such as delirium. According to clinical experience, delirium patients are more time-consuming for clinicians and their function is often poor. The costs caused by delirium patients are currently unknown. In the present study, a retrospective examination of a database was carried out to calculate the costs that arise during the clinical treatment of documented delirium patients.

Setting and methods

The purpose of this retrospective analysis was to collect information recorded by nursing personnel trained in the treatment of delirium and information from a manual documentation matrix for additional time expenditure. In the database analysis anonymous data of previously discharged patients for a time window of 3 months were analyzed. Documented additional expenditure for patients with hyperactive delirium at hospitalization were analyzed by personnel. Material costs, the duration of hospitalization by main diagnosis and age clusters during hospitalization until discharge were also examined. The analysis was performed in a hospital with internal wards.


Data for 82 hyperactive delirium patients were examined and an average of approximately 240 min of additional personnel expenditure for these patients was found. These patients were approximately 10 years older (p < 0.01) and were hospitalized for an average of 4.2 days longer (p < 0.01) than non-delirium patients. Hyperactive delirium usually developed within the first 5 days of hospitalization and lasted 1.6 days on average. Patients for whom hyperactive delirium was detected early were hospitalized for significantly less time than those for whom it was detected late (6.85 versus 13.61 days, p = 0.002). Additionally, calculated personnel and material costs, including costs affecting the hospitalization period, amounted to approximately 1200 € per hyperactive delirium patient. This corresponds to approximately 0.3 CMP (casemix points) per patient.


The calculations of personnel and material costs and duration of hospitalization in patients with hyperactive delirium demonstrated significant additional costs. Early routine detection of delirium can be achieved through training and this approach leads to a shortening of the hospitalization period and lower costs.

Unsere Produktempfehlungen

Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie


• Themenbezogene Hefte behandeln Fragen der Gerontologie, der Biologie und Grundlagenforschung des Alterns und der geriatrischen Forschung

• Erweitert mit Beiträgen zu Therapie, Psychologie und Soziologie sowie der praktischen Altenpflege.  

• Hot topics von Experten knapp, aussagekräftig und provokativ kommentiert

Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2016

Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie 1/2016 Zur Ausgabe

Beiträge zum Themenschwerpunkt

Zeitliche Ambivalenzen des Alter(n)s

Beiträge zum Themenschwerpunkt

Alter(n), Ambivalenz und Mimikry

Mitteilungen der DGGG

Mitteilungen der DGGG

Beiträge zum Themenschwerpunkt

Ambivalenz, Alter und Agency