Delirium prevention in critically ill adults through an automated reorientation intervention – A pilot randomized controlled trial

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Explore the effect of an automated reorientation intervention on ICU delirium in a prospective randomized controlled trial.


Delirium is common in ICU patients, and negatively affects outcomes. Few prevention strategies have been tested.


Thirty ICU patients were randomized to 3 groups. Ten received hourly recorded messages in a family member's voice during waking hours over 3 ICU days, 10 received the same messages in a non-family voice, and 10 (control) did not receive any automated reorientation messages. The primary outcome was delirium free days during the intervention period (evaluated by CAM-ICU). Groups were compared by Fisher's Exact Test.


The family voice group had more delirium free days than the non-family voice group, and significantly more delirium free days (p = 0.0437) than the control group.


Reorientation through automated, scripted messages reduced incidence of delirium. Using identical scripted messages, family voice was more effective than non-family voice.

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