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Adult nursing
Best practices to prevent delirium in hospitalised patients
  1. Sandeep Yerra1,
  2. Pradeep Yarra2
  1. 1 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, Bronx, New York, USA
  2. 2 Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pradeep Yarra, Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA; pya227{at}

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Commentary on: Ludolph P, Stoffers-Winterling J, Kunzler AM, et al. Non-Pharmacologic Multicomponent Interventions Preventing Delirium in Hospitalized People [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 12]. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020;10.1111/jgs.16565. doi:10.1111/jgs.16565

Implications for practice and research

  • Non-pharmacological multicomponent interventions like early mobilisation, reorientation, pain control and others reduce the incidence of delirium in hospitalised patients at-risk.

  • A positive association is noted with reduction in length of stay, delirium duration, mortality and institutionalisation, but further research is warranted.


In the USA, prevalence of delirium is 29%–64% among hospitalised elderly adults 65 years and older, and account for an estimated more than US$164 billion in annual healthcare expenditures.1 Delirium is frequently unrecognised and poorly understood with no clear evidence based pharmacological treatment. Delirium increases risk of falls, functional decline, dementia, prolonged length of stay and institutionalisation.2 Several non-pharmacological interventions have evolved which include physiotherapy, …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.