Table 16.8-1. Common predisposing and precipitating factors for delirium

Predisposing factors

Precipitating factors

– Advanced age

– Neurodegenerative or cerebrovascular disease (eg, dementia, stroke)

– History of delirium

– History of alcohol abuse

– Severe illness

– Multimorbidity

– Frailty and functional decline

– Malnutrition

– Vision and/or hearing impairment

– Polypharmacy

– Use of psychoactive medications

– Uncontrolled pain

– Any medical illness

– Infection

– Acute organ dysfunction (eg, cardiac, respiratory, renal, or hepatic failure)

– Metabolic disturbance (eg, electrolyte abnormalities, endocrine disorders, hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia)

– Alcohol and/or drug intoxication or withdrawal

– Use of higher-risk medications associated with delirium (eg, psychoactive drugs, anticholinergics, opioids)

– Dehydration and/or malnutrition

– Iatrogenic events (eg, surgery)

– Uncontrolled pain

– Use of physical restraints

– Use of indwelling bladder catheters

– Immobilization