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Delirium: a diagnostic dilemma. Part 1.Effective symptom management for a patient with a palliative diagnosis can be challenging. There are some symptoms that may be more difficult to control and understand than others. Delirium, as a symptom, may well prove to be a significant challenge for all involved, leaving family and health professionals perplexed and exhausted. Understanding the predisposing factors and the manifestations may aid the health professional in the assessment and identification of this distressing symptom, facilitating more effective management and care of those who are approaching the end of life. This article attempts to address some of the challenges and offer a number of suggestions that may aid in identifying delirium in patients at the end of life, but also examines some of the dilemmas when attempting to treat delirium.