The purpose of this evidence-based practice guideline is to provide direction for identifying risk factors, conducting appropriate assessments, and implementing effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of delirium. Delirium is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and may lead to permanent cognitive impairment and dementia. Originally believed to be a disorder of arousal, researchers now recognize delirium as a disorder of cognition with attention and global cognitive impairments as the key features. It is estimated that delirium affects approximately 14% to 56% of older (i.e., > 65 years of age) hospitalized patients with 20% of the 12.5 million patients experiencing a complication during hospitalization because of delirium.
This guideline is intended for use by nurses and other healthcare disciplines that provide care for elderly hospitalized patients on general medical/surgical units. Some of the recommended interventions require physician management and interdisciplinary collaboration, while other interventions are independent nursing actions. Written 1999; Revised 2009; 2015.
Toolkit Included in Guideline:
- Risk Model for Delirium (RD)
- Confusion Assessment Method (CAM)
- Delirium Index (DI)
- Confusion Assessment Method – Severity (CAM-S)
- NEECHAM Confusion Scale
- Form for Documenting Predisposing and Precipitating Factors for Delirium, Timeline, and Interventions
- Process Evaluation Monitor
- Delirium Outcomes Monitor
- Nursing Outcomes Classification: Delirium - 0916
- Delirium Algorithm
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