alexa A multifaceted educational intervention to prevent delirium in older inpatients: A before and after study
Nursing

Nursing

Advanced Practices in Nursing

Author(s): Anne PF Wand, William Thoo, Hayley Sciuriaga, Vicky Ting, Janett Baker

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Background Systematically targeting modifiable risk factors for delirium may reduce its incidence. However, research interventions have not become part of routine clinical practice. Particular approaches to the education of clinical staff may improve their practice and patient outcomes. Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness of a multifaceted educational program in preventing delirium in hospitalised older patients and improving staff practice, knowledge and confidence. Design A before and after study. Setting A 22-bed general medical ward of a district hospital in Sydney, Australia. Participants Patients were aged 65 years and over and not delirious upon admission. Of 568 eligible patients, 129 were recruited pre-intervention (3 withdrew initial consent) and 129 patients post-intervention. Methods Prior to the intervention, in order to establish a baseline, patients were assessed early after admission and again at discharge. The intervention was a one-hour lecture on delirium focusing on prevention for medical and nursing staff followed by weekly interactive tutorials with delirium resource staff and ward modifications. Following the initial education session, data were gathered in a second group of medical ward patients at the same time-points to ascertain the effectiveness of the intervention. Pre and post-intervention data were analysed to determine change in staff objective knowledge and self-ratings of confidence and clinical practice in relation to delirium. The main outcome measures were incident delirium and change in staff practice, confidence and knowledge. Results The mean age of patients was 81. The pre and post-intervention groups were comparable, aside from greater co morbidity in the pre-intervention group (F(1, 253) = 9.20, p = 0.003). Post-intervention there was a significant reduction in incident delirium (19% vs. 10.1%, X2 = 4.14, p = 0.042), and improved function on discharge (mean improvement 5.3 points, p < 0.001, SD 13.31, 95% CI −7.61 to −2.97). Staff objective knowledge of delirium improved post-intervention and their confidence assessing and managing delirious patients. Staff addressed more risk factors for delirium post-intervention (8.1 vs. 9.8, F(1, 253) = 73.44, p < 0.001). Conclusions A low-cost educational intervention reduced the incidence of delirium and improved function in older medical patients and staff knowledge and practice addressing risk factors for delirium. The program is readily transferable to other settings, but requires replication due to limitations of the before and after design.

This article was published in International Journal of Nursing Studies and referenced in Advanced Practices in Nursing

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