University of Limerick
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Co-design and mixed methods evaluation of an interdisciplinary digital resource for undergraduate health profession students to improve the prevention, recognition, and management of delirium in Ireland: a study protocol

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-09, 07:57 authored by Lana Cook, Alice CoffeyAlice Coffey, Christine Brown Wilson, Pauline BolandPauline Boland, Patrick Stark, Margaret GrahamMargaret Graham, James McMahon, Dympna TuohyDympna Tuohy, Heather E. Barry, Jill MurphyJill Murphy, Matt Birch, Audrey TierneyAudrey Tierney, Tara Anderson, Arlene Mc CurtinArlene Mc Curtin, Emma Cunningham, Geoffrey M Curran, Gary Mitchell


Delirium is a common symptom of acute illness which is potentially avoidable with early recognition and intervention. Despite being a growing concern globally, delirium remains underdiagnosed and poorly reported, with limited understanding of effective delirium education for undergraduate health profession students. Digital resources could be an effective approach to improving professional knowledge of delirium, but studies utilising these with more than one profession are limited, and no evidence-based, interdisciplinary, digital delirium education resources are reported. This study aims to co-design and evaluate a digital resource for undergraduate health profession students across the island of Ireland to improve their ability to prevent, recognise, and manage delirium alongside interdisciplinary colleagues.


Utilising a logic model, three workstreams have been identified. Workstream 1 will comprise three phases: (1) a systematic review identifying the format, methods, and content of existing digital delirium education interventions for health profession students, and their effect on knowledge, self-efficacy, and behavioural change; (2) focus groups with health profession students to determine awareness and experiences of delirium care; and (3) a Delphi survey informed by findings from the systematic review, focus groups, and input from the research team and expert reference group to identify resource priorities. Workstream 2 will involve the co-design of the digital resource through workshops (n=4) with key stakeholders, including health profession students, professionals, and individuals with lived experience of delirium. Lastly, Workstream 3 will involve a mixed methods evaluation of the digital resource. Outcomes include changes to delirium knowledge and self-efficacy towards delirium care, and health profession students experience of using the resource.


Given the dearth of interdisciplinary educational resources on delirium for health profession students, a co-designed, interprofessional, digital education resource will be well-positioned to shape undergraduate delirium education. This research may enhance delirium education and the self-efficacy of future health professionals in providing delirium care, thereby improving practice and patients’ experiences and outcomes.



BMC Medical Education, 2024, 24, 475



Other Funding information

This research project, DelHPIre (Delirium Health Professionals Ireland), is funded as a ‘Strand I Project’ by the Shared Island North–South Research Programme (from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science in the Government of Ireland) to improve the prevention, recognition, and management of delirium across the island of Ireland. Reference: 6692- HEA North South.

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