Nonpharmacologic Interventions (NPIs)

  • Nonpharmacological interventions (eg, multidisciplinary interventions, music therapy, bright-light therapy, educational interventions, etc) are alternative interventions that can be used with older adults in the acute care setting.
  • NPIs remain first-line treatment in management of delirium.
  • NPIs to prevent or treat delirium are quite diverse, ranging from simple single-component interventions to complex multi-component interventions with varied effectiveness.

Key Points

  • In older patients, multicomponent nonpharmacologic interventions as well as some single-components interventions be can effective in preventing delirium
  • Multicomponent nonpharmacologic interventions significantly reduced the incidence of delirium in surgical and medical wards
  • There is limited evidence to support the efficacy of multicomponent nonpharmacologic interventions to treat delirium


Abraha I, et al. PLoS One. 2015;10(6):e0123090.