The applicability and feasibility of occupational therapy in delirium care

Pozzi, Christian and Tatzer, V.C. and Alvarez, E.A. and Lanzoni, A. and Graff, M.J.L. (2020) The applicability and feasibility of occupational therapy in delirium care. European Geriatric Medicine, 11. pp. 209-216.

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Purpose To perform a narrative review of studies on the applicability and feasibility of occupational therapy in persons with delirium by analyzing evaluation and procedural methods in the therapeutic settings. Methods Starting from the international classification of disability, the focus was to understand if and how occupational therapy as a multi-component intervention can reduce the duration and intensity of delirium to prevent future disabilities. This review also includes scientific studies demonstrating the benefits of occupational therapy in terms of increased functional and occupational outcomes. Finally, the evaluation modalities and the therapeutic procedures performed by the occupational therapist have been analyzed. Results The non-pharmacological treatments occupational therapists perform in people with delirium in intensive care settings are supported by scientific evidence. Conclusions There is preliminary evidence of the benefit of including occupational therapy in early stages of rehabilitation in acute care to prevent and treat delirium. Nevertheless, further studies are necessary to define the different aspects of the multidisciplinary approach that is common in geriatric practice, primarily determining the adequate timing, and intensity of interventions as well as its appropriate settings.

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