Monitoring the evolution of delirium allows one to evaluate the efficacy of clinical
care. Because delirium in most cases is the result of an acute medical illness commonly
superimposing on a chronic disease,
American Psychiatric Association
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV.
the structured and regular monitoring of delirium (for example assessing its persistence
or resolution with the Confusion Assessment Method
- Inouye S.K.
- Van Dyck C.H.
- Alessi C.A.
- et al.
Clarifying confusion: The Confusion Assessment Method.
at brief time intervals) may allow physicians to modify their clinical approaches.
For example, when a patient is admitted with delirium to a hospital or postacute medical
ward, the staff immediately starts a plan of interventions for each potential “cause”
of delirium. If delirium persists longer than expected, this indirectly suggests that
somatic causes underlying delirium have not been identified (and/or removed) and simultaneously
compels physicians to rediscuss the global processes of care. On the contrary, the
resolution of delirium may be viewed as the result of an appropriate patient's management.
Outcomes of older people admitted to postacute facilities with delirium.
Delirium can also be regarded as a marker of the global quality of care
- Inouye S.K.
- Schlesinger M.J.
- Lydon T.J.
Delirium: A symptom of how hospital care is failing older persons and a window to
improve quality of hospital care.
in hospitals but also in long-term care settings when the low level of technological
equipment gives a particularly important role to direct clinical observation.