Impact of a Nursing-Driven Sleep Hygiene Protocol on Sleep Quality

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact on sleep quality of a nursing-driven sleep hygiene protocol (SHP) instituted in a single burn-trauma intensive care unit. Criteria for eligibility were adult patients admitted to the Burn Service who were not delirious, able to respond verbally, and had not received general anesthesia in the prior 24 hours. Patients were surveyed using the validated Richards–Campbell Sleep Questionnaire prior to implementation (“PRE”; May to December 2010) and following implementation (“POST”; January to August 2011) of a SHP that sought to minimize environmental stimuli and limit disruptions during the night. This analysis includes only initial survey responses from each patient. A total of 130 patients were surveyed, 81 PRE and 49 POST; 60% were burn admissions. There was no significant difference in responses to the questionnaire between burn and nonburn patients. All patients in the POST group were significantly older and more frequently endorsed taking sleep medication at home. Although not significant, POST patients reported falling asleep somewhat more quickly, but no other differences were identified between the two groups. Among patients who reported having sleep difficulties prior to admission, POST patients not only reported a significantly higher pain score than PRE patients, but also reported significant improvement in falling asleep and being able to go back to sleep. Frequency of complaints of sleep disruption was unchanged between PRE and POST patients. POST patients did complain significantly less than PRE patients about sleep disruptions by clinicians. Implementation of the SHP permitted acutely injured or ill patients in our intensive care unit to fall asleep more quickly and to experience fewer sleep disruptions. A sleep protocol may be helpful in improving sleep and overall well-being of burn center patients.

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