The evaluation and management of delirium among older persons

Med Clin North Am. 2011 May;95(3):555-77, xi. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2011.02.005. Epub 2011 Mar 31.


This article reviews the pathophysiology, prevalence, incidence, and consequences of delirium, focusing on the evaluation of delirium, the published models of care for prevention in patients at risk of delirium, and management of patients for whom delirium is not preventable. Evidence on why physical restraints should not be used for patients with delirium is reviewed. Current available evidence on antipyschotics does not support the role for the general use in the treatment of delirium. An example of a restraint-free, nonpharmacologic management approach [called the TADA approach (tolerate, anticipate, and don't agitate)] is presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Delirium / diagnosis*
  • Delirium / prevention & control
  • Delirium / therapy*
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Risk Assessment