Table of Contents
ISRN Stroke
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 620186, 7 pages
Research Article

Delirium in Acute Stroke: A Survey of Screening and Diagnostic Practice in Scotland

1School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Queen Margaret University Drive, Edinburgh EH21 6UU, UK
2Institute for Applied Health Research and School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G0 4BA, UK
3Geriatric Medicine, Clinical and Surgical Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Room S1642, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK

Received 5 June 2013; Accepted 16 July 2013

Academic Editors: R. P. Kessels, P. A. Nyquist, and J. Van Der Grond

Copyright © 2013 Gail Carin-Levy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. To survey the use of delirium screening and diagnostic tools in patients with acute stroke across Scotland and to establish whether doctors and nurses felt the tools used were suitable for stroke patients. Methods. An invitation to participate in a web-based survey was e-mailed to 217 doctors and nurses working in acute stroke across Scotland. Descriptive statistics were used to report nominal data, and content analysis was used to interpret free text responses. Results. Sixty-five responses were logged (30% return rate). 48% of the respondents reported that they routinely screened newly admitted patients for delirium. Following initial screening, 38% reported that they screened for delirium as the need arises. 43% reported using clinical judgment to diagnose delirium, and 32% stated that they combined clinical judgment with a standardised tool. 28% of the clinicians reported that they used the Confusion Assessment Method; however, only 13.5% felt that it was suitable for stroke patients. Conclusions. Screening for delirium is inconsistent in Scottish stroke services, and there is uncertainty regarding the suitability of screening tools with stroke patients. As the importance of early identification of delirium on stroke outcomes is articulated in recent publications, validating a screening tool to detect delirium in acute stroke is recommended.