Can delirium research activity impact on routine delirium recognition? A prospective cohort study

Carly Welch, Thomas A. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
120 Downloads (Pure)


INTERVENTIONS: The main study followed an observational design; the intervention discussed was the implementation of this study itself.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was recognition of delirium by the admitting medical team prior to study diagnosis. Secondary outcomes included recording of or description of delirium in discharge summaries, and factors which may be associated with unrecognised delirium.

RESULTS: Delirium recognition improved between the first half (48%) and second half (71%) of recruitment (p=0.01). There was no difference in recording of delirium or description of delirium in the text of discharge summaries.

CONCLUSION: Delirium research activity can improve recognition of delirium. This has the potential to improve patient outcomes.

SETTING: Single-site tertiary university teaching hospital.

PARTICIPANTS: 125 patients with delirium, as diagnosed by an expert using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition reference criteria, were recruited to a prospective cohort study investigating use of informant tools to detect unrecognised dementia. This study evaluated recognition of delirium and documentation of delirium by medical staff.

OBJECTIVE: To assess if ongoing delirium research activity within an acute admissions unit impacts on prevalent delirium recognition.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere023386
JournalBMJ open
Issue number10
Early online date31 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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