Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Evaluation of a multicomponent pathway to address inpatient delirium on a neurosciences ward.



Delirium is a frequent and detrimental complication of inpatient hospitalization. Multicomponent intervention in selected groups has been shown to prevent and treat delirium, though little data exists on the effect of intervention in neurological patients. We studied the efficacy of a multicomponent delirium care pathway implemented on a largely neurology and neurosurgery hospital ward among unselected patients.


We incorporated a multicomponent delirium care pathway into the workflow of a university hospital for patients older than 50 years. The pathway involved risk-stratification for development of delirium, delirium screening, and non-pharmacologic behavioral prevention and intervention. We then retrospectively reviewed admissions before and after implementation of the care pathway. Our primary endpoint was incidence of delirium; secondary endpoints included delirium days, length of stay, restraint use, readmission rates, and discharge disposition.


Seven hundred ninety eight admissions from before the delirium care pathway went into effect and 797 admissions from afterwards were reviewed. Baseline characteristics between groups were similar. Delirium incidence between the two groups did not change (7.0% before vs 7.2% after, p = 0.89). Length of stay among delirious patients significantly decreased after implementation of the delirium care pathway (9.60 before vs 7.06 after, β = - 0.16, adjusted p-value = 0.001).


Implementation of a delirium care pathway on a neurosciences ward was not associated with changes in the rate of delirium development, though length of stay among delirious patients decreased. In a largely neurologic population, multicomponent intervention to prevent and treat delirium may not change delirium incidence, but may be effective in mitigating delirium complications.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View