Module Summary

An episode of delirium indicates that a patient is in a high-risk population and needs special attention. Many patients have persistent cognitive or functional deficits subsequent to an episode of delirium, and are at a higher risk of re-occurrence. An appropriate treatment plan, prompt follow-up, screening for underlying dementia, and a focus on family education are essential components of patient care following the acute delirium episode.

Understanding the cultural barriers that may be experienced when caring for the Aboriginal patient is important.

These include:

  • Medication adherence – instruction and access to supply.
  • Discomfort and embarrassment when accessing mainstream health services.
  • Traditional healing remedies – bush medicine.
  • Literacy and the ability to understand instructions.
  • When faced with medical terminology and complex language, the aboriginal patient may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable asking for clarification.
  • Answers such as – ‘yes’ and ‘no’ while looking straight ahead may not mean an understanding of what they have just been asked or told.