Queen’s University Belfast: Building resources to recognise and manage delirium

Supported the by Shared Island Funding, a group of academics led by Dr Gary Mitchell at Queen’s and Professor Alice Coffey at the University of Limerick will aim to develop a resource for all healthcare students to get a better understanding of delirium.

According to Dr Mitchell, delirium is a condition which requires input from many healthcare professionals and one which is frequently misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.

Early recognition of delirium is essential to enable identification of reversible causes and appropriate intervention tailored to the individual needs of the person. Through co-development of this resource, and subsequent implementation within undergraduate healthcare professions programmes, the team is hopeful that their work will support healthcare professionals to work together to support people with delirium.

The two-year project will focus on gathering data and implementing and evaluating resources across multiple healthcare professions programmes at the two Universities. The team will be supported by six students from each University who will work towards a Degree-Plus award.

Speaking about the importance of the project, Dr Mitchell said: “Given the complexity of the problem and the importance of promoting awareness of the condition across healthcare professionals, informal caregivers and the public, an all-Ireland digital resource for health professions students could help to improve delirium prevention and treatment. Ultimately this has the potential to significantly improve quality of life for people affected by this condition.

The key objective for this project is to reduce the cognitive and physical burden of delirium. This includes better understanding of what delirium is, how it can recognised, prevented and managed across primary, secondary and tertiary care. We hope that the digital resource will help health professions students better understand prevention and treatment solutions that increase a person’s quality of life, enhance functional independence, and reduce healthcare costs.”

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