A Pilot Study to Test the Feasibility of a Nonpharmacologic Intervention for the Prevention of Delirium in the Medical Intensive Care Unit

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The aims of this study were to determine the feasibility of and test a multicomponent, nonpharmacologic, nurse-driven intervention for prevention of delirium.


This was a prospective, cohort pilot study.


This study was carried out in a 12-bed medical intensive care unit in a Magnet-designated community hospital in a major metropolitan city in the Southwest United States.


A convenience sample of consented patients meeting inclusion criteria was included in this study.


A multicomponent prevention protocol consisting of sedation cessation, sleep-wake cycles, sensory stimulation, mobility, and music was tested.


Capturing data for the interventions was problematic. Insufficient documentation systems and inadequate multidisciplinary participation in carrying out the protocol, especially mobility, were barriers.


There was little difference in the proportion of delirium before and after intervention. Success in the identification and prevention of delirium requires a multidisciplinary approach.


Further research is needed using a larger sample size. Refinement of a mobility program is needed.

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