Delirium in palliative care patients is common and its diagnosis and treatment is a major challenge. Our objective was to perform a literature analysis in two phases on the recent scientific evidence (2007-2012) on the diagnosis and treatment of delirium in adults receiving palliative care. In phase 1 (descriptive studies and narrative reviews) 133 relevant articles were identified: 73 addressed the issue of delirium secondarily, and 60 articles as the main topic. However, only 4 prospective observational studies in which delirium was central were identified. Of 135 articles analysed in phase 2 (clinical trials or descriptive studies on treatment of delirium in palliative care patients), only 3 were about prevention or treatment: 2 retrospective studies and one clinical trial on multicomponent prevention in cancer patients. Much of the recent literature is related to reviews on studies conducted more than a decade ago and on patients different to those receiving palliative care. In conclusion, recent scientific evidence on delirium in palliative care is limited and suboptimal. Prospective studies are urgently needed that focus specifically on this highly vulnerable population.