The economic cost of delirium: A systematic review and quality assessment

Irina Kinchin, Eileen Mitchell, Meera Agar, Dominic Trépel

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This review aims to systematically identify and appraise the methodological quality of claims on the cost of delirium; and discuss challenges and opportunities for improvements in the precision of the estimates.

Searches of scientific papers and gray literature were performed up until June 2020. The Larg and Moss checklist was used to assess the methodological quality of the included studies.

After deduplication, the search identified 317 potentially relevant articles, of which 17 articles were eligible for inclusion. After adjusting for inflation and common currency, the cost of delirium ranged between $806 and $24,509 (in 2019 US$).

This review found significant variation among the cost estimates and methodological quality. There has been limited focus on dementia as a sequela of delirium in terms of economic implications, but recent evidence suggests cost implications of delirium may be 52% higher when dementia is considered
Original languageEnglish
JournalAlzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association
Early online date21 Jan 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 21 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic Analysis
  • delirium
  • cost effectiveness
  • systematic review
  • Economic
  • Economic Evaluation


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