Nursing identification of Delirium

Brandee Flagg, Lori Cox, Stacy McDowell, Juliana M. Mwose, Janice M. Buelow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Purpose: Describe nurses' ability to recognize delirium on both intensive care unit and medical-surgical units. DESIGN:: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study using a convenience sample. SAMPLE AND SETTING:: Sixty-one registered nurses (RNs) were recruited from both medical-surgical and intensive care units from 2 midsized hospitals in the Midwest. METHODS:: For this study, a survey was developed using true/false and Likert-type scale questions to assess (1) nurse knowledge of symptoms associated with delirium, (2) negative sequelae associated with delirium, and (3) confidence levels regarding assessing for delirium. CONCLUSION:: Tremendous opportunity exists in nursing education for learning about negative outcomes associated with delirium and the importance of routine assessment. Clarification of negative sequelae related to delirium will lead nurses to value and understand the importance of early detection. Appropriate use of a standard cognitive assessment and an instrument designed to detect delirium is vital in a successful delirium prevention program. Providing nurses with educational resources and opportunities to apply knowledge will increase confidence in identification and management of delirium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-266
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Nurse Specialist
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • LPN and LVN

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    Flagg, B., Cox, L., McDowell, S., Mwose, J. M., & Buelow, J. M. (2010). Nursing identification of Delirium. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 24(5), 260-266.