Skip to main content

Consciousness and the rabbit holes of delirium.

Eeles, E., Ward, S., Teodorczuk, A., Dissanayaka, N. and Burianová, H., 2020. Consciousness and the rabbit holes of delirium. Medical Hypotheses, 144, 110260.

Full text available as:

FinalVersion.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2020.110260


Delirium is a common disorder in hospitalized older adults and the defining characteristic is a disturbance of consciousness. Unfortunately, there are currently no testable measures of consciousness as pertains to its disruption in delirium. Not surprisingly rates of recognition of delirium suffer. Arguably, a greater understanding of the quantum of consciousness may improve delirium diagnosis through better diagnostic tools. Candidate dimensions of consciousness derived from fields of psychology, psychiatry, and philosophy are discussed and relevance to delirium explored. Based upon existing literature in the field of consciousness we identify the pre-reflective state, experiential awareness, and functional networks as candidate sites that may be affected in delirium. Opportunities for clinical instrument development and how these tools can be tested are discussed. We conclude that consciousness content may not hold to a unitary measurement, but facets of its integrity that are impacted in delirium are open to further exploration. Disorders in pre-reflective status, experiential awareness, and functional networks may represent the measurable “rabbit holes” of consciousness disturbance.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:delirium; consciousness; attention
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:34621
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:28 Sep 2020 13:23
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:24


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -