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Which interventions are effective in preventing and reducing incidence of delirium in the acute hospital setting?

HNN108 Understanding Research Evidence

Assessment Task 1 – Evidence Synthesis

2000 Words

Purpose of assessment task

This assessment task will enable students to show critical thinking skills by demonstrating their ability to source and critique literature on a clinical practice issue and make recommendations for care based on these findings.

Topic background

Delirium is an acute neuropsychiatric syndrome that is common in patients in the acute hospital setting. Delirium is associated with poorer outcomes for patients including increased risk of falls, functional decline, and prolonged hospital length of stay. Delirium can be prevented in approximately 30 ‐ 40% of cases.

Assignment question

“Which interventions are effective in preventing and reducing incidence of delirium in the acute hospital setting?”   

PICO elements for the question:

P -Acute hospital setting

I -Interventions

C -None

O -Prevent/Reduce incidence of delirium

Student instructions for assessment task: 

Develop a search strategy, conduct a search of the literature, synthesise the findings, and use them to recommend best practice interventions to reduce the incidence of delirium:

  1. Develop a search plan to locate relevant resources
  2. Using the template provided develop a search strategy based on the assignment question (remember to review all relevant databases).
  3. Conduct a search of the literature using your search strategy and choose three (3) primary research evidence papers most relevant to answering your question.
  4. Complete the extraction/summary table (in the template) for each paper outlining the:
    1. purpose/aim of the study
    2. sample
    3. design
    4. key findings
    5. level of evidence
  5. Write a synthesis of the overall findings from the research papers to determine and recommend best practice for the prevention of delirium in acute hospital settings (approx 1200 words).

Your synthesis should:

  1. Introduce the problem and topic area briefly (no additional references required).
  2. Critically analyze the research (including: appropriateness of the sample, chosen methodology, potential bias and randomisation procedure if appropriate).
  3. Summarise key findings from the research most relevant to the question.
  4. Recommend best practice interventions for prevention of delirium based on the key findings.

Submission components required:

  1. Assignment provided on template
  2. Search strategy
  3. Extraction tables
  4. Synthesis
  5. Reference list

Please note:

  • Please use the template provided in the assessment folder on
  • Please use primary original research only as this assessment is designed to teach you skills on how to read and critique original research.
  • Do not include in your assignment secondary sources or research such as traditional literature reviews, integrative reviews or systematic reviews. However, you may find it useful as part of your background reading to read integrative reviews, systematic reviews or quality improvement projects (when available) to help you identify key issues and themes and help scope the breadth and depth of the research before reading your chosen primary research articles.
  • You are not required to reference additional material in the essay (only the three papers chosen)
  • You must provide a reference list at the end of the assessment. Please include the article’s permalink (e.g., doi) in the reference. Instructions for how to do this are available on
  • Presentation requirements for the assessment are available in the assessment folder

Rubric: HNN108 Understanding research evidence 

Assessment task 1 – Evidence Synthesis (50% of total marks for the unit)

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