The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an education program on delirium knowledge among skilled and long-term care workers. Delirium, one of the most common syndromes experienced by older adults, carries profound negative and often permanent consequences. The existing data reflects poor delirium recognition and knowledge by nursing staff but has historically focused on those practicing in acute care settings. Long-term care and skilled nursing residents typically possess one or more delirium risk factors secondary to chronic illness, functional and/or sensory impairments, and polypharmacy. Research to examine caregiver proficiency in delirium prevention, recognition, and management strategies would be of great benefit for this vulnerable group of older adults. A 30-minute delirium education session was hosted to enhance and evaluate delirium knowledge among older adult caregivers. Participants completed delirium knowledge pre- and post-tests immediately before and following the education session. Participants then completed a second post-test 30 days later to measure knowledge retention. The first post-test results found a statistically significant increase in delirium knowledge. A significant decrease in test scores were found at post-test completion 30 days later, indicative of need for continued reinforcement of education. Significant associations were also noted between age, nursing degree, job tenure, and delirium knowledge at baseline. It is evident from this study that baseline delirium knowledge among nursing home caregivers is inadequate. The overall increase in test scores indicate that this type of intervention was effective; however, there will be a need for continuing caregiver education regarding delirium over time.
After completing this learning activity, the participant will be able to assess innovations being used by other professionals in the specialty and evaluate the potential of implementing the improvements into practice.