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Development of an international undergraduate curriculum for delirium using a modified delphi process

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James Fisher, Dr Andrew Teodorczuk


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Background: delirium is a medical emergency affecting approximately 30% of hospitalised older patients. Recent work examining UK undergraduate medical curricula highlighted inconsistencies in the delivery of teaching on delirium. The aim of this project was to develop consensus agreement on a delirium curriculum for medical undergraduates.Methods: a modified Delphi process was used to determine consensus amongst experts in an iterative manner. Experts at the European Delirium Association Conference (London, 2015) were invited to participate. Participants were asked to consider: (i) What should be taught? (ii) How should teaching be delivered? (iii) Who should deliver the teaching? (iv) Where should the teaching be delivered? (v) When should the teaching be delivered? Delphi rounds continued until consensus on curriculum content (defined as 80% agreement) was achieved.Results: consensus was reached after three rounds. A recurrent theme was the need to involve patients, families and carers to help drive attitudinal change. The final curriculum, along with data pertaining to agreement with each curriculum item during the Delphi process, is presented.Conclusion: this Delphi process enabled an international group of experts from a broad range of specialties, to reach consensus agreement on the components of an undergraduate curriculum for delirium. The curriculum represents an important step in the development of delirium education within medical training. Despite competing demands of increasingly crowded undergraduate curricula, delirium, given its relevance to 21st century healthcare, must be prioritised. We call on Medical Schools to consider integrating this delirium curriculum into their degree programmes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Copeland C, Fisher J, Teodorczuk A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Age and Ageing

Year: 2018

Volume: 47

Issue: 1

Pages: 131-137

Print publication date: 01/01/2018

Online publication date: 09/08/2017

Acceptance date: 02/06/2017

ISSN (print): 0002-0729

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2834

Publisher: Oxford Academic


DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afx133


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