Perceived Stigma and Quality of Life in Patients Following Recovery From Delirium

Objective: To elucidate the factors related to perceived stigma and quality of life (QoL) in patients who have recovered from delirium.

Methods: This prospective cohort investigation of patients with delirium, as diagnosed according to DSM-IV-TR criteria, was conducted from July 2011 to May 2013. The perceived stigma level and QoL of each patient was assessed using the Perceived Stigma of Delirium Scale (PSDS) and European Quality of Life Visual Analog Scale (EQ-VAS), respectively, following recovery from delirium. Several clinical characteristics were assessed at baseline and after recovery from delirium, and a multivariate linear regression analysis was conducted.

Results: This study included 128 patients who completed a follow-up assessment after recovery from delirium. A multivariate analysis revealed that patients who had a history of depression (B = 3.34, P = .026), could recall their experiences with delirium (B = 1.71, P = .011), and had a longer duration from delirium detection to recovery (B = 1.39, P = .012) obtained higher PSDS scores than patients without these characteristics. The ability to recall delirium experiences (B = 7.17, P = .026) and the use of antipsychotics at follow-up assessment (B = 7.87, P = .039) were associated with lower EQ-VAS scores. Additionally, PSDS scores were negatively correlated with EQ-VAS scores (r = –0.37, P < .001).

Conclusions: This study found that patients who experienced an episode of delirium reported varying degrees of perceived stigma and that the ability to recall their delirium experiences was associated with a higher stigma and a poorer QoL. These findings suggest that care teams should pay more attention to perceived stigma in patients with delirium.

J Clin Psychiatry 2017;78(7):e744–e749

https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.16m11076