Acute traumatic and depressive symptoms in family members of hospitalized individuals with delirium

Robert B. Lloyd*, Lisa J. Rosenthal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study characterized symptoms of acute stress and depression in caregivers present during the hospitalization of a loved one with delirium. Methods: This is an observational, cross-sectional analysis of caregivers of patients hospitalized with delirium. Standardized questionnaires were used in caregiver interviews to assess psychological reactions to traumatic situations and understanding of medical care. Results: Of the 40 caregivers recruited, half had significant symptoms of acute stress and 12.5% of caregivers were highly symptomatic across all domains related to trauma. Elevated acute stress was positively correlated with both past or current depression and prior mental health treatment (p<0.028). The caregivers who ranked witnessing delirium as having a negative impact on their lives were also at elevated risk (p<0.05). Conclusions: Caregivers witnessing delirium are at elevated risk for experiencing severe acute traumatic and depressive symptoms, and this response might place them at risk for developing traumatic disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-202
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2015


  • Acute traumatic stress
  • Caregiver
  • Delirium
  • Depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute traumatic and depressive symptoms in family members of hospitalized individuals with delirium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this