A Quantitative Exploration of Patients with Delirium

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A Quantitative Exploration of Patients with Delirium

Category: Annotated Bibliography

Subcategory: Nursing

Level: Academic

Pages: 2

Words: 550

A quantitative exploration of patients with delirium
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A quantitative exploration of patients with delirium
Mc Donnell, S., & Timmins, F. (2012). A quantitative exploration of the subjective burden experienced by nurses when caring for patients with delirium. Journal of clinical nursing, 21 (17‐18), 2488-2498.The article focuses on the issue of nursing care provided to patients suffering from delirium. The subject of negative emotions and feelings by nurses tasked with the provision of care to delirium patients has, hitherto, been ignored. It is with this subject in mind that the authors of this article prepared this research to measure and objectively quantify the strain on nurses when handling delirium patients. According to the article, nurses generally have a feeling of comfort when handling patients with cognitive decline such as dementia patients. However, research has shown that nurses feel discomfort and incomprehension when dealing with delirium patients. According to the article, the negative feelings may be attributed to the inadequacy of understanding possessed by the nurses, especially regarding the delirium condition. The article identifies that there is a common misconception between dementia and depression conditions and that these two conditions are often confused with delirium. Even though delirium, depression and dementia generally fall under disorders affecting the cognitive functions, it is proper to acknowledge that the delirium condition has since been classified as a disorder in its own right and treatment received by patients suffering from the disorder need to be separately treated.
The article identifies that dementia and depression, as well as delirium may be experienced by a patient simultaneously. However, it categorically states that patients with dementia and depression, in cases where delirium is non-existent should be subjected to different forms of care compared to delirium patients. The article identifies three sub-classes of delirium and insists that the three subclasses are important in differentiating the nursing practices and care that are appropriate for the various patients. These three sub-types include; Hypoactive, hyperactive and mixed presentation. The different types of delirium differ in terms of severity and determine the possibility of early detection. According to the article, lacking a clear understanding of the three sub-types often provide a challenge to physicians’ ability to detect the condition among the patients.
The main aim of the authors of this article was to conduct a research in which they sought to examine the burden that nurses face when caring for delirium patients as well as identify the various aspects of the delirium condition that often challenges the nursing practice. A random sample of 800 nurses was used in the research and were subjected to a self-reporting questionnaire. A quantitative approach and design were chosen due to its inherent accuracy and unambiguous nature that it promised. Subjects anonymity was maintained foe ethical reasons and accuracy was ensured by retesting some of the subjects. The results of the research clearly showed that nurses experienced elevated feelings of stress and strain when they were handling delirium patients. According to the article, the delirium condition and the negative perceptions that the nursing caregivers developed potentially affected the accurate diagnosis of the delirium condition. The article suggests that nurses need to be educated on the delirium condition, either through local education programs or through in service nursing training programs. The awareness programs were especially crucial for nurses working in high-risk areas such as with old-age patients already suffering from conditions such as dementia and depression. In conclusion, the authors of the article suggest that further research into this area needs to be done to determine specific competencies and practices that the nursing profession may be equipped with to ensure that they improve their standard of care regarding patients suffering from the delirium condition.