Pain pp 1117-1120 | Cite as

Delirium in the Elderly

  • Mark E. SchroederEmail author


Delirium is the most frequent cause of acute cognitive dysfunction in elderly hospitalized adults. It is characterized by fluctuating attention and awareness, and changes in cognition. The etiology of delirium is most often multifactorial, a combination of physiological and/or pharmacological insults. There is no specific pharmacologic therapy to prevent or treat delirium, but agitated delirium is often treated with haloperidol. Pain is difficult to assess in the delirious patient and depends on understanding sources of pain, reports from the patient and family, behavioral assessment, and trials of analgesic medication.


Delirium Acute cognitive dysfunction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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