Staff response to delirium in acute stroke: Knowledge, awareness and barriers to early identication
van Wijck, Frederike
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Carin-Levy, G., Nicol, K., van Wijck, F., Mead, G. & McVittie, C. (3915) Staff response to delirium in acute stroke: Knowledge, awareness and barriers to early identication, International Journal of Stroke, vol. 10, pp. 17-17.
Introduction: Delirium is a serious medical complication, which can have adverse effects on patients. Identifying delirium following a stroke can be challenging due to the complexity of cognitive screening. This study explored how multidisciplinary team (MDT) members understand delirium following a stroke and what actions are taken when working with a patient exhibiting delirium symptoms. Method: A grounded theory exploration utilising two online focus groups and email exchanges with nurses, physiotherapists, speech and language and occupational therapists working in acute stroke across Scotland. 2 case vignettes were used to elicit responses: 1 described a stroke patient with hypoactive delirium, the other, a hyperactive delirium. Results: 15 participants from various professional groups were recruited. A minority of participants who received delirium training in the past were able to identify symptoms and suggest relevant screening tools. Most participants struggled to identify a hypoactive delirium, mistaking it for dementia or depression and using more tentative language to discuss delirium symptoms. Participants placed an emphasis on the roles of MDT members as instrumental in working out the clinical picture: nurses saw their role as identifying the biomarkers as well as using a delirium screening tool. Allied health staff tended to defer to nurses and medical staff to take these actions. Discussion: MDT members can struggle to identify delirium in acute stroke, particularly the hypoactive subtype. Education and raising awareness of all MDT members working in stroke units has the potential to increase identication rates and possibly lead to more favourable outcomes for these patients.