INTRODUCTION: Delirium is an organically caused acute dysfunction of the brain associated with increased morbidity, mortality, cost of care and poor cognitive recovery.
METHOD: This point prevalence study of delirium was conducted at Hvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark at two separate occasions. Patients were examined with the Brief Confusion Assessment Method (bCAM) in both, but in the second survey bCAM was supplemented with a psychiatric assessment using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth ed. In all, 126 patients were assessed and eight patients were excluded. The delirious patients' charts were examined.
RESULTS: Out of the 118 patients included in the study, 38 (32%) were delirious and in 18 (47%) patients, the diagnosis was documented. Furthermore, in 18 (47%) patients, a pharmacological treatment plan for agitation was prepared (in 89% of those diagnosed with delirium and in 10% of those without the diagnosis). In 26 (68%), a plan to increase care existed (in 78% of those with a diagnosis of delirium and in 60% without the diagnosis). In 11 patients (29%), there was a plan for reducing stress (in 44% of those with a diagnosis of delirium and in 15% without the diagnosis).
CONCLUSIONS: Delirium is a common phenomenon in a Danish acute hospital setting. Identification and treatment are inadequate. The diagnosis of delirium is a possible determinant for treatment is care; hence, this study found that pharmacological treatment for agitation, optimised care and stress reduction were more frequently considered in patients with the delirium diagnosis than in patients who did not have the diagnosis.
FUNDING: This study has no external funding.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: The local Danish Research Ethics Committee was notified, but as it was a non-intervention study no permission was required.
|Tidsskrift||Danish Medical Bulletin (Online)|
|Status||Udgivet - nov. 2016|