Risk factors for intensive care delirium: a systematic review

Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2008 Apr;24(2):98-107. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2007.08.005. Epub 2007 Oct 18.


Delirium has been a recognised syndrome in the intensive care unit for some years. This systematic review reports risk factors for delirium studied in the intensive care unit. Four predisposing and 21 precipitating factors, including nine laboratory blood values and seven items relating to the use or the administration of medication, were found to influence the onset of delirium in the intensive care unit in six publications. The APACHE II score and hypertension were the only factors reported twice. Risk factors for the development of intensive care delirium were understudied and underreported in the literature.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Causality
  • Critical Care* / organization & administration
  • Critical Care* / psychology
  • Delirium / diagnosis
  • Delirium / epidemiology
  • Delirium / etiology*
  • Delirium / psychology
  • Health Facility Environment
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units* / organization & administration
  • Length of Stay
  • Mass Screening
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Prospective Studies
  • Research Design
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Syndrome