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delirium, education, hospital, hospitalized, neuro, neuroscience, nonpharmacological interventions, prevention, training, volunteers



  1. Cyrus, Teresa
  2. Wenthold, Rebecca
  3. Hall, Brenda
  4. Tu, Lisa
  5. Hedquist, Katie
  6. Omodt, Jean
  7. Kozub, Elizabeth
  8. Guthrie, Patricia Finch


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Delirium frequently develops in hospitalized patients and results in increased mortality, longer length of stay, and need for transitional care. Neurological patients are at an increased risk for developing delirium. There is a paucity of research on effective prevention strategies for this population. PURPOSE: The objectives of this project were to improve nurses' knowledge and confidence in delirium prevention, design a delirium volunteer program, and establish ongoing monitoring for continued improvement. METHODS: This study is a quality improvement project using a pretest-posttest design to examine the benefits of refocusing care from delirium management to delirium prevention. The sample included 304 patients pre and 332 post intervention. The interventions included delirium education for nurses and the recruitment of trained volunteers to implement nonpharmacological, multicomponent delirium prevention interventions. RESULTS: Forty-eight nurses completed delirium education, and 11 volunteers were recruited and trained. There was a significant increase in nursing knowledge (z = 3.967, P < .0005) and confidence (z = 3.989, P < .0005). Volunteers visited 54 patients and implemented 99 interventions post implementation. CONCLUSION: This pre-post improvement project provides beginning evidence that nursing education increased nurses' knowledge and confidence in preventing and treating delirium. Trained volunteers supported using nonpharmacological delirium prevention interventions, but ongoing evaluation is needed to determine the impact of volunteers on delirium rates.