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ORL Head Neck Nurs. 2007 Summer;25(3):14-25.

Evaluating and managing delirium, dementia, and depression in older adults hospitalized with otorhinolaryngic conditions.

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  • 1Massachusetts Extended Care Federation, Newton Lower Falls, MA, USA.


Nurses caring for patients who have otorhinolaryngic conditions undergoing medical and surgical treatments find that their patient populations are becoming older and sicker. These patients are more likely to develop delirium, often superimposed on depression or dementia. Sorting out the medical, surgical, and psychosocial changes in geriatric patients presents unique challenges to otorhinolaryngology (ORL) nurses. This paper reviews the evaluation and management of delirium, dementia, and depression in hospitalized elders, focusing on a new resource, the evidence-based Mental Health Toolkit, developed by the National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners (NCGNP). The paper further provides material for a structured journal club activity, including a common ORL clinical scenario and learning objectives, as well as discussion questions and answers.

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