Grace Farris, Melissa L.P. Mattison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Delirium is defined as waxing and waning mental status coupled with inattention. Up to 50% of elderly hospitalized patients may experience delirium. Serious illness, recent surgery, hip fractures, sensory impairments, and cognitive dysfunction place patients at an increased risk of delirium. Hospitalized patients who develop delirium may never return to their prehospital cognitive baseline. Not all patients with dementia have delirium and not all patients with delirium will have dementia. Pharmacologic restraints, such as antipsychotic medications for behavior management, are the last resort. Delirium can be prevented by minimizing tethers, optimizing sleep hygiene, controlling pain, and providing frequent reorientation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e85-e92
JournalHospital Medicine Clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Antipsychotics
  • Dehydration
  • Delirium
  • Dementia
  • Elderly
  • Long-term care


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