Carers toolkit can make delirium less frightening and less dire: Study

University of the Sunshine Coast
A world-first pilot study, involving UniSC, has found an interactive online toolkit could boost carers’ ability to determine whether a loved one was at risk, or was likely to have, delirium.

University of the Sunshine Coast health academic Dr Alison Caswell was part of the pilot study, published recently in the Journal of General Internal Medicine Carers, which evaluated the Prevention and Early Delirium Identification Carer Toolkit, called PREDICT.

Dr Caswell said delirium manifested as a sudden decline in a person’s usual mental function and was frightening for people experiencing it and those caring for them.

“Delirium is a stress-response, usually caused by a number of underlying acute, short-term illnesses and medical complications, including urinary tract infection, pneumonia or post-surgery,” Dr Caswell said.

It is the most common hospital-acquired complication worldwide and was associated with higher rates of illness, death, residential care home admission, dementia, and carer stress and burden.

/University Public Release. View in full here.