Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Evidence Booster: Screening for Delirium, Dementia, and Depression in Older Adults

The RNAO best practice guideline (BPG) Delirium, Dementia and Depression in Older Adults: Assessment and Care Second Edition (2016) is intended to update and replace the BPG Screening for Delirium, Dementia and Depression in Older Adults (2010). The purpose of this guideline is to enhance the quality of evidence-based practices pertaining to delirium, dementia, and depression in older adults.

In 2011, the Alzheimer Society of Canada reported that 747,000 older Canadians (almost 15 per cent of the population) were living with dementia; by 2031, this number is projected to reach 1.4 million. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the prevalence of dementia increases with age, and appears to double every five years after age 65.

Aim: To examine changes in care processes associated with the implementation of the RNAO BPG Screening for Delirium, Dementia and Depression in Older Adults (2010) in two Ontario hospital Best Practice Spotlight Organizations® (BPSO®).

Measure: Indicators from the Nursing Quality Indicators for Reporting and Evaluation® (NQuIRE®) data system were used to determine the percentage of persons, 65 years of age and older, who were screened for cognitive, functional, behavioural and mood disorders on initial assessment using a standardized tool.

Clinical improvement: Determined as an increase in the percentage of people screened for cognitive, functional, behavioural and mood disorders.