Delirium Superimposed on Dementia | Early Nurse Detection and Management of Delirium

Delirium Superimposed on Dementia research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Delirium (acute confusion) is common and costly in persons with dementia, resulting in longer hospital stays, more complications, and greater functional decline. This research tests the use of the electronic health record, education, and regular feedback to nurses to improve detection and management of delirium. Ultimately, findings will direct ways to improve acute care of this vulnerable population.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - Persons with dementia will be included if they: a) are on one of the selected medical-surgical units and are age 65 years or older; b) have been hospitalized less than 48 hours; and c) meet the criteria for dementia. The study will include minorities and women. Exclusion Criteria: - Persons with dementia will be excluded if they have any significant neurological or neurosurgical disease associated with cognitive impairment other than dementia (due to confounding with dementia or DSD), such as: - Lewy Body Dementia - Huntington's disease - Sormal pressure hydrocephalus - Seizure disorder - Subdural hematoma - Head trauma - Known structural brain abnormalities - Nonverbal and unable to communicate due to severe dementia (MMSE=0) - Aphasia - Intubation - Terminal illness (since interviews are required for the study). - This study will not exclude persons with pre-existing delirium. - In addition, subjects will not be excluded on the basis of race or gender.

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Delirium Superimposed on Dementia

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Behavioral:END-DSDMulti-component intervention including 1) Nursing education regarding detection and management of delirium superimposed on dementia; 2) Computerized decision support and EHR; 3) A unit champion nurse for promotion of delirium assessment and management; 4) Feedback to nursing staff

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

END-DSD Intervention


Study Status


Start Date: April 2010

Completed Date: February 2015

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Severity of Delirium

Secondary Outcome:

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Donna Fick, RN,PhD

Lead Sponsor: Penn State University

Collaborator: Vanderbilt University Medical Center

More information:

Discuss Delirium