Aims: Delirium may affect patients with any cancer diagnosis and has significant, negative impacts on patients, staff and carers. Delirium is common in hospitalised oncology patients and associated with increased mortality, morbidity, distress and prolonged hospital stay. Delirium diagnosis is frequently missed. Diagnosis can be improved with screening tools but existing tools require significant training, can be time consuming, and are rarely used in inpatient oncology settings.
In this study we address the research question; How sensitive is a single question in delirium screening?
Institutional Health and Research Ethics Committee approval has been gained at both sites. The study involves administration of 3 tools to test for delirium. The study instrument is the Single Question in Delirium screen (SQiD). The patient’s friend or relative are asked: “Do you feel [patient’s name] has been more confused lately?” Responses are compared with a psychiatrist’s clinical diagnosis of delirium and a validated multi-item tool; the Confusion Assessment Method. Consecutive weekday oncology/palliative care admissions will be approached (sample size = 195) at Prince of Wales and Westmead Hospitals in Sydney, Australia. The SQID has been piloted and results appear promising. 1
Of consecutive 283 admissions at site one. Of these 52 were inpatient admissions of less than 2 days for chemotherapy and not included. Of the remainder 35 have completed all 3 tests of delirium. Site two will commence recruitment in September 2012