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Revista chilena de neuro-psiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 0717-9227


QUIROZ O, Tiare; ARAYA O, Esperanza  and  FUENTES G, Patricio. Delirium: update on nonpharmacological management. Rev. chil. neuro-psiquiatr. [online]. 2014, vol.52, n.4, pp.288-297. ISSN 0717-9227.

Delirium is a neuropsychiatric syndrome of acute onset and fluctuating course, with involvement of the attention and cognition, particularly common in older people. Increases morbidity and mortality, implies a high cost for health services and can be significantly prevented with adequate control of their risk factors. The use of drugs should not be the first line strategy in the patient with delirium, except in cases of significant psychomotor agitation or disruptive hallucinations because psychotropic drugs in general often cause serious side effects in this age group. Non-pharmacological multicomponent interventions are cost-effective in preventing delirium and reduce its severity and duration. Interventions such as reality orientation, adequate hydration and nutrition, sleep hygiene, early mobility, visual and hearing aids, environmental suitability and limitation of unnecessary physical intervention or physical restraint produce consistent clinical benefits.

Keywords : Delirium; nonpharmacological interventions.

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