Published 16th September 2021 by

Help researchers better understand new confusion and how this affects the person, their carers and relatives

A team of researchers based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, CUH NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge are planning a research project to investigate delirium, which is a sudden, usually short-lived, new confusion. Delirium can affect a persons’ thoughts, memory and attention and commonly occurs following an operation, infection, or severe illness.

The aim of this project is to identify what might cause delirium after surgery. They hope that this study can:

  • Gather information to allow healthcare professionals to better care for patients at risk of developing delirium after surgery.
    Help identify potential treatments for delirium.
  • To help them understand more about how delirium affects a person, their carers and relatives, it is important to hear what this experience is like for those directly affected. Specifically, they would like to better understand what the experience of being delirious is like and what the challenges are when caring for a person with delirium.

Who would they like to hear from?

  • People who have experienced delirium
  • People who have cared for someone with delirium

Why is your involvement important?

  • Hearing about personal experiences of being delirious is essential to help healthcare professionals understand the condition better.
  • Hearing what the challenges are when caring for a person with delirium can help direct the research to be focused on the aspects that are more important to carers, rather than set by researchers.
  • Hearing about strategies used when caring for a person with delirium may help determine which strategies may be incorporated into this or future studies.
  • Sharing your experiences as people who experienced delirium or as the carers of people with delirium provides an important alternative perspective, which may lead to new topics of discussion or areas for investigation that the research team has not previously considered.

What will taking part involve?

The researchers will be running an online two-hour session via video conferencing software (Zoom). The session will include members of the research team and a representative from the Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Trust Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team. During the session you will discuss experiences of delirium as a group and researchers will answer any questions you have about how they might study delirium.

Alternative ways to become involved

One-to-one session – If you would prefer a one-to-one session through telephone or video conferencing software, this can be arranged.
Written experience – If you would prefer to write down your thoughts rather than participate in a group or individual telephone or videoconferencing call, then they would love to hear your experiences as either a person who has experienced delirium or the carer of someone with delirium.

How to get involved

If you are interested in taking part in the discussion group, please email Dr Chris Eyeington: If you are interested in getting involved but can’t attend the discussion group, please feel free to get in touch and we will do our best to find an alternative way for you be involved with the project.


Any feedback you provide is confidential and will not affect your healthcare in any way. With your consent, the video session will be recorded so that we can produce notes following the discussion. The speech from the video will be anonymised and put into a Word document. Following this, the video will be deleted.

More about the researchers

They are a team of researchers based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, CUH NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge. The team includes consultants in anaesthesia, intensive care and a senior research nurse.