A survey about postoperative delirium in older patients among nurses and anaesthetists: Implications for future practice and policy

Ezinne O. Igwe*, Victoria Traynor, Sheila Rodgers, Alasdair Waite, Alasdair MacLullich, Irwin Foo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: Postoperative delirium is a major complication associated with anaesthesia and surgery, more commonly seen in older people. 

Aims: The aims of this study were to explore the knowledge and understanding of anaesthetists and nurses involved in anaesthesia through their responses to two case scenarios of postoperative delirium experienced by older people. 

Methods: A 30-item online survey was sent to 500 potential respondents. 

Results: Two hundred and twenty-six practitioners from Australia, New Zealand and Scotland responded. Most had no workplace protocols for anaesthesia planning in older people. There was substantial variability in practice in relation to postoperative delirium screening, detection, prevention and management. 

Conclusions: Improvements in education and awareness, together with a more coherent approach, for example, as recommended in the European Society of Anaesthesiology Guidelines, could help to reduce the impact of postoperative delirium in older people. This should be combined with ongoing research into perioperative optimisation of detection, prevention and management of postoperative delirium.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Early online date18 Sept 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Sept 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • anaesthesia protocols
  • cognition
  • older people
  • postoperative delirium
  • survey

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