Delirium screening and management in inpatient rehabilitation facilities

Mooyeon Oh-Park, Peii Chen, Vickie Romel-Nichols, Kimberly Hreha, Olga Boukrina, A. M. Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Delirium is an acute and fluctuating disturbance in cognition attention and awareness that is often a reflection of abnormal physiological condition of an individual. Delirium is highly prevalent among an older population and is associated with high mortality, poor medical and functional outcomes, and high healthcare cost. Delirium often has iatrogenic triggers, and it has been recognized as a quality indicator of healthcare organizations. Despite its high prevalence and significance, more than 50% of the delirium cases are underrecognized by healthcare professionals and remained untreated. Most patients in inpatient rehabilitation facilities are older adults with multiple risk factors for delirium including operation, intensive care stay, multiple co-morbidities, and impaired mobility. Early detection, intervention, and primary prevention of delirium will allow patients to avoid additional morbidities and reach their maximum functional potential during their rehabilitation stay. After the systematic implementation of delirium screening in our inpatient rehabilitation facility, we found that 10.3% of patients were screened positive for delirium at admission. This review discusses the systematic implementation of screening and intervention for delirium as well as the epidemiology of delirium to increase the awareness and guide clinical practice for clinicians in inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-762
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Delirium
  • Dissemination of Information
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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