Biomarkers as diagnostic or prognostic indicators of delirium: examining the current evidence

Emery, Ellie, Hamer, Oliver orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9631-0032 and Hill, James Edward orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1430-6927 (2024) Biomarkers as diagnostic or prognostic indicators of delirium: examining the current evidence. British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing . ISSN 1747-0307

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Delirium is a substantial global health concern. Delirium can lead to longer hospital stays and increased healthcare costs. Effective detection and prevention of delirium is still a major challenge for health-care organisations globally. This is largely because the cause(s) of the condition are still unknown. There are multiple factors which may contribute to the aetiology of delirium and a range of neurobiological processes that may be associated with its pathophysiology. With this said, evidencing these processes is a significant challenge as there is a dearth of existing methods of identification. Recently, the use of biomarkers has become a popular method in the identification of delirium and its risk of development. The identification of biomarkers associated with delirium may provide insight into its pathophysiology and aid in diagnosis and management. However, there is a lack of research that has synthesised the diagnostic and prognostic value of biomarkers associated with delirium, and how they can be employed to improve patient outcomes. A systematic review by Dunne et al. 2021 was undertaken to explore this association of biomarkers and delirium. This commentary aims to critically appraise the methods used within the review by Dunne et al. (2021) and expand upon the findings in the context of clinical practice.

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