An educational programme to improve acute care nurses' knowledge, attitudes and family caregiver involvement in care of people with cognitive impairment

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Delirium is a common and serious problem for hospitalised older adults, particularly those with dementia 1. Delirium is defined as an acute impairment in cognition and a disturbance in awareness and attention 2. It is four times more likely to occur in hospitalised older adults with dementia compared with hospitalised older adults without dementia 3, and is distressing for patients, families and healthcare professionals 4. Delirium is also linked to a range of serious adverse outcomes such as increased morbidity and mortality 4.
Despite the adverse outcomes and burden associated with delirium, it is usually under‐recognised and its management remains inadequate 7. Although many factors contribute to poor recognition and inadequate management of delirium, nurses' poor knowledge and negative attitudes are considered the foremost factors affecting the quality of care for older adults with cognitive impairment 10. Recently, several Western studies reported on the positive effect of educational programmes for nurses' knowledge of delirium and associated care 13. Western values and healthcare delivery systems, however, may have an influence on this effect, and currently, few studies have been conducted from a South Korean perspective 16.
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