Safety and effectiveness of antipsychotic medication for delirium in patients with advanced cancer: A large-scale multicenter prospective observational study in real-world palliative care settings

Phase-R Delirium Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To clarify the safety and effectiveness of antipsychotic medication for delirium in patients with advanced cancer receiving palliative care. Methods: This was a prospective observational study involving consecutive patients with advanced cancer and delirium receiving antipsychotics in inpatient hospices or psycho-oncology settings. Adjusted mean scores of the Delirium Rating Scale Revised-98 (DRS; range: 0–39) were calculated at baseline and Day 3 using generalized estimating equations. Adverse events over 7 days were evaluated. Results: Data from 756 patients were analyzed (Mage = 72 ± 11 years, 62% male, 48% bedridden). The adjusted mean DRS score significantly decreased after antipsychotics administration (21.5 [95% confidence interval 19.5 to 23.4] to 20.8 [18.9 to 22.8], p = 0.03, effect size [ES] = 0.02). Significant improvement was associated with age of 75 or older (ES = 0.07), better performance status (0.32), longer estimated prognosis (0.25), psycho-oncological consultation settings (0.20), hyperactive (0.14) or mix-motor subtypes (0.24) of delirium, and quetiapine administration (0.19); significant deterioration was observed in patients with “days” prognosis (0.18). Extrapyramidal symptoms (9.8%) and somnolence (8.5%) were the most prevalent adverse events. Conclusions: The use of antipsychotics as part of comprehensive delirium management was safe and may provide some symptomatic benefits for patients with terminal illness and delirium. Along with adequate non-pharmacological interventions, judicious use of antipsychotics is still recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Volume67
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 1

Keywords

  • Antipsychotics
  • Delirium
  • Delirium Rating Scale revised-98
  • Palliative care
  • Real-world data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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