ALTOONA – Altoona Regional is collaborating with Penn State University Park on a five-year research study entitled “Early Nurse Detection of Delirium Superimposed on Dementia.”
Delirium is sudden, severe confusion and rapid changes in brain function that occur with physical or mental illness. It is estimated 22-89 percent of hospitalized patients over the age of 65 may develop delirium while in the hospital. This has been shown to increase a patient’s length of stay and increase unexpected outcomes such as falls and skin breakdown, among others.
This research not only is important to increasing the science of treatment of patients who may potentially develop delirium in the hospital, but it provides an opportunity for Altoona Regional nurses to be a part of a national research study.
One of the goals of the Altoona Regional research program is to bridge the gap between academia and the clinical setting to promote research utilization. These collaborative efforts help accomplish that bridge.
This study was approved by both the Altoona Regional and Penn State institutional review boards. In addition, this study has been funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The study is led by Donna Fick, Ph.D., primary investigator, Penn State; Jane McDowell, project coordinator at Penn State, and Kim Corle, Quality Management, Altoona Regional, who will coordinate the research efforts at the Altoona Regional site. The study is being conducted at Altoona Regional, Vanderbilt and Mount Nittany Medical Center. The researchers hope to begin enrolling patients in the study in January.