Personalized Interventions Reduce Agitated Behaviors

November 20, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Hospitalized patients may suffer from cognitive impairment, delirium, suicidal ideation, or other conditions that can lead them to agitated behavior. In the October 2013 American Journal of Nursing, a geriatric nurse practitioners and a team of nurses describe the use of personalized interventions that helped continuous observers reduce agitation by up to 73%, with sustained reductions of 64% an hour after the intervention. Observers, who were primarily nursing students, were trained to assess which of a series of diversions would best suit individual patients on a nonpsychiatric unit; diversions ranged from craft kits and books to board games and building blocks. Of 74 patients, ranging from 17 to 94 years of age, 54 showed a decrease in agitated behaviors during the intervention, with 47 maintaining reduced agitation an hour after the intervention.

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