Learning Objective 1: "The learner will be able to know that delirium among older patients is prevalent and leads to numerous detrimental effects
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to know that future studies should evaluate the role of pain management in the context of delirium severity.
Methods: This is a descriptive study of older patients newly to admitted two geriatric units of Khoo Teck Puat hospital in Singapore (n = 21). Upon admission, patients were screened for delirium with the Confusion Assessment Method and severity of delirium symptoms were determined by using the Delirium Index.
Results: Of the 21 delirious older patients, 14 had moderate-severe delirium while 7 presented mild delirium. In the analyses, a significant positive relationship was observed between the level of prior cognitive impairment and the severity of delirium. Low mini-mental state examination (MMSE) scores the presence of severe illness at the time of hospitalization and low functional autonomy in instrumental activities of daily living: were significantly associated with moderate-severe delirium. Older patients suffering from mild delirium used significantly more drugs than those with moderate-severe delirium. Results indicated that MMSE score at admission and medication use were the factors most strongly associated with the severity of delirium symptoms.
Conclusion: This present study indicates that issues associated with moderate-severe delirium are different from those associated with mild delirium. Given the result concerning the role of medication, future studies should evaluate the role of pain management in the context of delirium severity.
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