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Editor's Correspondence
Jan 9, 2012

Interventions to Improve Recognition of Delirium: A Sine Qua Non for Successful Transitional Care Programs

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Geriatric Psychiatry, Central Regional Hospital, Butner, North Carolina.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(1):80-81. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.609

It is encouraging to see the effectiveness of the Care Transitions Intervention1 and a transitional care program2 reproduced in real-world settings, 2 different interventions devised to improve transition of care from acute care settings to lower levels of care. It is however important to highlight a frequently underrecognized condition, namely delirium, that is highly prevalent in hospitalized older patients and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Any intervention that aims to improve transition of care from an acute care setting to a lower level of care should include strategies to assess for delirium during hospitalization and at the time of discharge and to provide education to caregivers and patients on delirium.