Prevalence and symptoms of delirium superimposed on dementia.Clin Nurs Res. 2006 Feb; 15(1):46-66.CN
Delirium is a frequent syndrome among patients who are elderly. People who are older with cognitive impairment who are institutionalized are at increased risk of developing delirium when hospitalized. In addition, their prior cognitive impairment makes detecting their delirium a challenge. This study goal was to describe the effect of severity of prior cognitive impairment on delirium prevalence and symptom presentation among patients who were older and were newly admitted to an acute care hospital. A total of 104 were included in this descriptive study and screened for delirium. The results showed that the prevalence of delirium increased according to the severity of the patients' prior cognitive impairment. Except for disorganized thinking, all symptoms of delirium were similar among patients with mild, moderate, and severe prior cognitive impairment. The study concluded that training nurses to recognize subtle changes in mental status among those patients who were older with prior cognitive impairment may prevent the underdetection of delirium.