Causes and outcomes of hospitalization in Lewy body dementia: A retrospective cohort study

C Chauncey Spears, Amir Besharat, Erin Hastings Monari, Daniel Martinez-Ramirez, Leonardo Almeida, Melissa J Armstrong
Parkinsonism & related Disorders 2019 March 23

INTRODUCTION: Understanding hospitalization in Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a known knowledge gap. We aimed to identify common causes, medication profiles, complications, and outcomes of hospitalization in LBD.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study investigated details of academic medical center hospitalizations over a two-year period for patients with LBD. Data collected included demographics, home medications, pre-hospital living status, reason for admission, admission service, inpatient medications, complications, and discharge status. Non-parametric statistics assessed associations between variables and length of stay. Odds of a change in living situation based on admission variables was calculated.

RESULTS: The study included 178 hospitalizations (117 individuals). Neuropsychiatric symptoms were the most common admission reason (40%), followed by falls (24%) and infection (23%). Patients were usually admitted to medicine services; neurology or psychiatric consultations occurred less than 40% of the time. Antipsychotics were administered during 38% of hospitalizations. Use of antipsychotics other than quetiapine or clozapine was associated with longer length of stay and increased odds of discharge to a higher level of care. One-third of hospitalizations resulted in transition to a higher level of care; 15% ended in hospice care or death.

CONCLUSION: The most common reasons for hospitalization in LBD are potentially modifiable. Opportunities for improved care include increased involvement of neurological and psychiatric services, delirium prevention strategies, and reduced antipsychotic use. Clinicians should counsel patients and families that hospitalizations in LBD can be associated with end of life. Research is needed to identify strategies to prevent hospitalization and optimal standards for inpatient care.

FUNDING: Lewy body dementia research at the University of Florida is supported by the University of Florida Dorothy Mangurian Headquarters for Lewy Body Dementia and the Raymond E. Kassar Research Fund for Lewy Body Dementia.

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