Practice Patterns and Opinions on Current Clinical Practice Guidelines Regarding the Management of Delirium in the Intensive Care Unit

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The aim of this study was to determine current delirium practices in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting and evaluate awareness and adoption of the 2013 Pain, Agitation, and Delirium (PAD) guidelines with emphasis on delirium management.

Design, Setting, and Participants:

A large-scale, multidisciplinary, online survey was administered to physician, pharmacist, nurse, and mid-level practitioner members of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) between September 2014 and October 2014. A total of 635 respondents completed the survey.

Measurements and Main Results:

Nonpharmacologic interventions such as early mobilization were used in most ICUs (83%) for prevention of delirium. A majority of respondents (97%) reported using pharmacologic agents to treat hyperactive delirium. Ninety percent of the respondents answered that they were aware of the 2013 PAD guidelines, and 75% of respondents felt that their delirium practices have been changed as a result of the new guidelines. In addition, logistic regression analysis of this study showed that respondents who use delirium screening tools were twice more likely to be fully aware of key components of the updated guidelines (odds ratio [OR] = 2.07, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.20-3.60).


Most critical care practitioners are fully aware and knowledgeable of key recommendations in the new guidelines and have changed their delirium practices accordingly.

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