Using PDAs to detect cognitive change in the hospitalized elderly patient

Appl Nurs Res. 2010 Aug;23(3):e21-7. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2009.10.002. Epub 2009 Nov 26.


The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) program is designed to prevent delirium and cognitive decline in the hospitalized elderly patient. Personal digital assistants (PDAs) were trialed in collecting assessment data for the HELP program. Data for a mental status assessment (Mini-Mental Status Examination), delirium assessment (Confusion Assessment Method), and a depression screen for 352 patients enrolled over a 4-month period were collected. Participants had a slight but significant increase in cognitive function. PDAs are a useful adjunct to care enabling the staff to monitor the cognitive status of hospitalized elderly patients and track program outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Clinical Nursing Research
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / nursing*
  • Computers, Handheld*
  • Delirium / diagnosis
  • Delirium / nursing*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / nursing*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Nursing / methods*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Status Schedule