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Delirium in a residential care facility: An exploratory study of staff knowledge


Buettel, A and Cleary, M and Bramble, M, Delirium in a residential care facility: An exploratory study of staff knowledge, Australasian Journal on Ageing, 36, (3) pp. 228-233. ISSN 1440-6381 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 AJA Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1111/ajag.12452


Objective: To explore staff knowledge of delirium by eliciting meaning through descriptions of their experiences within a residential aged care facility (RACF). Methods: Six staff from one RACF in Australia participated in this qualitative study. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted and analysed using Colaizzi’s analytical framework.

Results: The analysis revealed four themes: (i) absence of the word delirium; (ii) care based on intuition and automated actions; (iii) reliance on teamwork; and (iv) confusing delirium, depression and dementia.

Conclusion: Delirium was absent from clinical discourse in the RACF. Although participants concluded that delirium was common, lack of knowledge led to underassessment. Findings emphasise the need for staff education, informed assessment and clinical guidelines to better support staff care for residents.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:carers, delirium, education, homes for the aged, nurses.
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Cleary, M (Professor Michelle Cleary)
UTAS Author:Bramble, M (Dr Marguerite Bramble)
ID Code:121576
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2017-10-04
Last Modified:2018-09-13

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