Delirium in adult patients in intensive care: nursing interventions

Ana Filipa Gaudêncio Bento*, Patrícia Pontífice Sousa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Delirium is a neuropsychiatric syndrome of high incidence in the critically ill patient. It is characterised by changes in acute attention and cognition, has a multifactorial aetiology and has a negative impact on the patient's clinical situation and future quality of life. Prevention of delirium and early identification can reduce associated morbidity and mortality. Consequently, it is vital that intensive care unit (ICU) nurses perform targeted patient monitoring to identify acute cognitive changes. Objective: To identify nursing interventions directed at the prevention and management of delirium in adult patients in ICU. Method: A scoping review was undertaken based on the principles recommended by the Joanna Briggs Institute. Results: Seven studies were selected for inclusion. Non-pharmacological and pharmacological nursing interventions were identified. Conclusion: The interventions identified were predominantly aimed at the prevention of delirium. The training of nurses and wider clinical team in preventing and identifying this syndrome is crucial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-538
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2021


  • Critical care nursing
  • Critical care patient
  • Delirium
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Literature review


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