Older people with delirium: Worthless and childlike

Stephen Neville (2008) Older people with delirium: Worthless and childlike. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 14 6: 463-469. doi:10.1111/j.1440-172X.2008.00721.x

Author Stephen Neville
Title Older people with delirium: Worthless and childlike
Journal name International Journal of Nursing Practice   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1322-7114
Publication date 2008-12
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2008.00721.x
Volume 14
Issue 6
Start page 463
End page 469
Total pages 7
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject 11 Medical and Health Sciences
1110 Nursing
Abstract Delirium occurs as a consequence of physiological imbalances resulting in alterations in consciousness and cognitive impairment. It is a serious cognitive disorder and one prevalent in older people. This paper presents a significant finding from a study that critically examined the major discourses circulating on delirium and the subject positions offered to older people who had been delirious. A qualitative research design utilizing a critical gerontological framework underpinned this study. Data sources included published documents on delirium and semi-structured taped interviews. A discourse analytic approach interrogated the 20 sets of data collected. Textual analysis revealed the existence of an ageist discourse. Consequently, older people who had been delirious were offered the subject positions of ‘being old doesn’t matter’ and ‘a second childhood’. However, results from this study identified times when people who had been delirious resisted the ageist discourse. Resistance to the dominant discourse, although subtle and occurring on a micro level, acted to destabilize and challenge ageist and discriminatory health practices.
Keyword Ageism
Critical gerontology
Gerentological nursing
Older people
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 13 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 05 Aug 2009, 13:13:54 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences