Delirium in a residential care facility: An exploratory study of staff knowledge

Amy Buettel, Michelle Cleary, Marguerite Bramble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To explore staff knowledge of delirium by eliciting meaning through descriptions of their experiences within a residential aged care facility (RACF). Methods: Six staff from one RACF in Australia participated in this qualitative study. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted and analysed using Colaizzi's analytical framework. Results: The analysis revealed four themes: (i) absence of the word delirium; (ii) care based on intuition and automated actions; (iii) reliance on teamwork; and (iv) confusing delirium, depression and dementia. Conclusion: Delirium was absent from clinical discourse in the RACF. Although participants concluded that delirium was common, lack of knowledge led to under-assessment. Findings emphasise the need for staff education, informed assessment and clinical guidelines to better support staff care for residents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-233
Number of pages6
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number3
Early online dateJul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


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