Delirium incidence, predictors and outcomes in the intensive care unit: A prospective cohort study

Int J Nurs Pract. 2023 Apr 12:e13154. doi: 10.1111/ijn.13154. Online ahead of print.


Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence, predictors, and outcomes of delirium in intensive care units.

Background: Delirium is a common complication in intensive care units. In developing countries, it can be misdiagnosed or unrecognised.

Design: Prospective cohort study reported according to the strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology criteria.

Methods: We included patients who were conscious, >18 years old, and admitted to the intensive care units for at least 8 h between December 2019 and February 2020. Patients with a Richmond score of -4 or -5, mental disability, receptive aphasia and/or visual or auditory impairment were excluded from the study. Delirium was assessed using the Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU (CAM-ICU), whereas the functional outcome was assessed by the Katz Activity of Daily Living Index.

Results: This study included 111 patients with a delirium incidence of 31.5%. The severity of illness was the only significant predictor of delirium. Patients with delirium had longer intensive care unit and in-hospital stays in contrast to those without delirium. Delirium was associated with in-hospital and 4-month mortality but not the activities of daily living.

Conclusions: Delirium is associated with increased length of stay and mortality. Further investigation to determine whether delirium management can improve outcomes is warranted.

Keywords: delirium; intensive care unit; mortality; nursing; prediction.

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