BACKGROUND: Delirium is a geriatric syndrome that presents in 1 out of 5 hospitalized older patients. It is also common in the community, in hospices, and in nursing homes. Delirium prevalence varies according to clinical setting, with rates of under 5% in minor elective surgery but up to 80% in intensive care unit patients. Delirium has severe adverse consequences, but despite this and its high prevalence, it remains undetected in the majority of cases. Optimal delirium care requires an interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional diagnostic and therapeutic approach involving doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists. However, there are still important gaps in the knowledge and management of this syndrome.
MAIN BODY: The objective of this paper is to promote the interdisciplinary approach in the prevention and management of delirium as endorsed by a delirium society (European Delirium Association, EDA), a geriatrics society (European Geriatric Medicine Society, EuGMS), a nursing society (European Academy of Nursing Science, EANS), an occupational therapy society (Council of Occupational Therapists for European Countries, COTEC), and a physiotherapy society (International Association of Physical Therapists working with Older People of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, IPTOP/WCPT).
SHORT CONCLUSION: In this paper we have strongly promoted and supported interdisciplinary collaboration underlying the necessity of increasing communication among scientific societies. We have also provided suggestions on how to fill the current gaps via improvements in undergraduate and postgraduate delirium education among European Countries.