Document Type




Publication Date



SAGE Publications

Source Publication

Journal of Applied Gerontology

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1177/0733464814535484


Delirium is a life-threatening, frequently reversible condition that is often a sign of an underlying health problem. In-hospital mortality alone for older adults with delirium ranges from 25% to 33%. Early recognition of delirium is critical because prolonged duration poses a greater risk of poor functional outcomes for older adults. Family caregivers, who are familiar with the older adult’s usual behaviors, are most likely to recognize delirium symptoms but might dismiss them as due to aging. It is important to learn what family caregivers know about delirium to ascertain their need for education. The aims of this study were to describe family caregivers’ knowledge of delirium and preferred modalities for receipt of information about delirium. A cross-sectional design was used for this study and a survey distributed to family caregivers for older adults. Analysis of 134 usable surveys indicated that family caregivers need and want information about delirium. The preferred modalities for receipt of information included Internet, in-person classes, and newsletters.


Accepted version. Journal of Applied Gerontology, Vol 35, No. 7 (July 2014): pg. 744-758. DOI. © SAGE Publications. Used with permission.

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