A review: Nursing of intensive care unit delirium

J Neurosci Nurs. 2012 Dec;44(6):307-16; quiz E9-10. doi: 10.1097/JNN.0b013e3182682f7f.


The aim of this article was to review the current literature in relation to the nursing of intensive care unit (ICU) delirium. In particular, we discuss the definition and frequency, clinical features, risk factors, the adverse effects associated with instruments for assessing delirium, as well as prevention and nursing for delirium patients. Critically ill patients are at a greater risk of developing delirium, and delirium is a growing problem in the ICU. Most physicians and nurses regarded delirium as an inconvenient problem, both for patient and for personnel. Routine screening of all patients in the ICU for the presence of delirium is crucial to its successful management. Nurses are on the front line to detect, manage, and even prevent ICU delirium.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Delirium / epidemiology
  • Delirium / nursing*
  • Delirium / prevention & control
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Nursing Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors