Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Program Prevents Delirium In Hospital Patients

Date:
March 9, 1999
Source:
The National Institute On Aging
Summary:
Hospitals may be able to reduce the number and duration of sudden episodes of delirium in at-risk older patients by using a new clinical approach, according to results of a study appearing in the March 4, 1999 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Hospitals may be able to reduce the number and duration of sudden episodes of delirium in at-risk older patients by using a new clinical approach, according to results of a study appearing in the March 4, 1999 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, conducted at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, is the first large-scale clinical trial targeted toward prevention of delirium, a condition which is prevalent among hospitalized older adults and is a frequent contributor to hospital complications and death. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) funded the study.

"Delirium is an extremely frustrating and often harmful problem for patients, hospital staff, and families alike," said Sharon K. Inouye, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, who directed the study. "We now know that there are a set of clearly identifiable factors that place patients at risk for development of delirium. By addressing each of these within a team setting, we may actually be able to prevent a very troubling condition."

In the study, participants were divided into two groups: those receiving usual, standard hospital care or those receiving care under a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including staff nurses, nurse specialists, recreational therapists, physical therapists, geriatricians, and trained volunteers. While 15 percent of those receiving standard hospital services experienced at least one episode of delirium, only 9.9 percent of those receiving the team approach experienced an episode. Patients receiving the multicomponent approach experienced fewer episodes and a reduction in the number of days of delirium. However, the intervention did not affect either the duration of hospital stay or the rate of readmission.

Study investigators found the significant benefits of the team approach by targeting patients with one or more of six risk factors for delirium, including cognitive impairment, sleep deprivation, immobility, dehydration, or impaired vision or hearing. To address these risk factors, care-team members used targeted intervention protocols, such as word games and orientation and memory aids to sharpen thinking; relaxation tapes, massage, and warm drinks at bedtime to promote sleep; exercise to increase mobility; vision and hearing aids to improve sight and hearing; and provision of oral fluids to prevent dehydration.

"Once delirium occurs, the cat's out of the bag," says Dr. Inouye. "It seems that prevention is much more effective than treatment. We found that we could indeed prevent episodes of delirium using this approach, but not recurrences. The greatest effect was on prevention of an initial episode of delirium. We were also able to substantially reduce the total number of targeted risk factors for delirium in hospitalized patients, and we also saw improved cognition, reduced need for sedative drugs for sleep, and increased mobility, vision, and hearing. The matched design of this clinical trial provides a much-needed alternative when randomization to study groups is not possible."

The total cost of the Yale program, called the Elder Life Program, was $139,506, or $327 per patient. All 852 participants in the 3-year study were over the age of 70 and were patients at Yale's teaching hospital.

"This study of delirium shows the consequence of not following best practices like making sure patients wear their glasses and hearing aids, making sure they get enough water to drink, enough sleep, and exercise for mobility," said Neil Buckholtz, Ph.D., Chief of the NIA's Dementia Branch. "In addition, a low-tech intervention of this type might make adult hospitalization a less frightening experience for patients."

###

The NIA is one of 25 Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health and supports basic, clinical, epidemiological, and social research on aging and on the special needs of older people.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The National Institute On Aging. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The National Institute On Aging. "Program Prevents Delirium In Hospital Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990309062048.htm>.
The National Institute On Aging. (1999, March 9). Program Prevents Delirium In Hospital Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990309062048.htm
The National Institute On Aging. "Program Prevents Delirium In Hospital Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990309062048.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins