A prevenção do delirium no doente internado na unidade de cuidados intensivos

Translated title of the thesis: Preventing delirium in intensive care patients
  • Bruno Miguel Bispo (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Despite the terms "delirium" and "acute confusion" being used in clinical practice for many years and having different definitions, they continue to be used indiscriminately to refer to the same syndrome. Failure to diagnose delirium can compromise patient safety and have direct implications for health care delivery, with consequences that may occur even after hospital discharge. Intensive care units are usually associated with a hostile environment for patients and families, being noisy and uninviting for lengthy visits and with restricted visiting times. Patients are usually limited in mobility, medicated, and dependent on equipment that is, in many cases, invasive and on which the patient’s life depends. Sleep disturbance is a constant, and being able to tell whether it is day or night is not always easy. The relationship between the environment and health is one of the first reflections attributed to Florence Nightingale; considered the earliest nursing theory, its object of study focused on the implications that the environment has on patients' health. Delirium is related to several factors and it is important to understand which of those factors are modifiable so the specialist nurse can intervene. Through an integrative literature review we can identify some nursing interventions that have a positive impact on the prevention of delirium, such as patient guidance, early mobilisation, creating a more pleasant environment and promoting the sleep cycle. It is urgent to deepen and consolidate this knowledge in nursing language and practices. It is, therefore, considered that the greatest challenge is the training of teams, starting with intensive care units, where the incidence of delirium is more significant.
Date of Award11 Dec 2019
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorLurdes Martins (Supervisor)


  • Delirium
  • Acute confusion
  • Critically ill
  • Nursing care
  • Intensive care unit


  • Mestrado em Enfermagem

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