Delirium Superimposed on Dementia
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) describes delirium occurring in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD) as delirium superimposed on dementia (DSD) and delirium superimposed on Alzheimer’s disease.
Learn more about this condition and earn CNE at the same time.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) describes delirium occurring in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD) as delirium superimposed on dementia (DSD) and delirium superimposed on Alzheimer’s disease. Although delirium and dementia have distinctly different causes and presentations, clinicians, including bedside and advanced practice nurses, may have difficulty distinguishing between the two when they occur simultaneously.
Understanding the condition, its causes and risk factors, appropriate health assessments, and interventions can help nurses serve as the first line of defense against DSD and safeguard these vulnerable patients using evidence-based interventions.
Key Learning Outcomes
- Describe how to differentiate delirium and dementia and assess for delirium superimposed on dementia (DSD)
- Discuss risk factors for DSD and the three subtypes
- Describe how to prevent DSD and manage individuals with the condition
Candace C. Harrington, PhD, DNP, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, CNE, FAAN; Ardis M. Roederer, DNP, Med, BSN, RN, AGACNP-BC; Hope K. Eppley, DNP, BSN, RN, and Pamela Z. Cacchione, PhD, CRNP, GNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN
Candace C. Harrington is an assistant professor and gerontology nurse practitioner professor at the University of Louisville School of Nursing in Louisville, Kentucky. Ardis M. Roederer is an acute care NP at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Hope K. Eppley is a recent Doctor of Nursing practice graduate from the University of Louisville School of Nursing family NP track. Pamela Z. Cacchione is a professor of Geropsychiatric nursing and Ralston Endowed Term Chair in Gerontological Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia, a nurse Scientist at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Care Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
Use of these or any other course(s)/material(s) does not imply eligibility for certification or successful performance on any certification exam, nor is it a requirement to qualify for individual certification.
American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) does not endorse any products or services.
The American Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.
ANA is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP17219.