GeneralReview Article

Delirium Update for Postacute Care and Long Term Care Settings: A Narrative Review

Martin M. Forsberg, MD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: August 26, 2016

Accepted: September 6, 2016

Published: January 1, 2017

J Osteopath Med; 117(1): 32-38

Advances have been made in our understanding of the neuropathogenesis, recognition, and strategies for reducing the incidence of delirium in acute care settings. However, relatively little attention has been given to delirium in elderly patients in the postacute care (PAC) and long term care (LTC) settings. The present article reviews the most relevant current research pertaining to this population. Hospital patients with delirium are often discharged to PAC settings. Delirium that develops in the LTC setting is often more insidious and subtle in presentation. Despite incorporating systematic screening tools for delirium in PAC and LTC settings, delirium prevention strategies have not yet been shown to be beneficial beyond the acute care setting. The management of delirium combined with dementia and guidance on when it is appropriate to use antipsychotic medications is also discussed.

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