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J Hosp Med. 2010 Mar;5(3):E20-4. doi: 10.1002/jhm.549.

Decrease in as-needed sedative use by limiting nighttime sleep disruptions from hospital staff.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA. mbartick@challiance.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hospital routines frequently interrupt nighttime sleep. Sedatives promote sleep, but increase the risk of delirium and falls. Few interventional trials have studied sleep promotion in medical-surgical units and little is known about its impact on sedative use.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine causes of sleep disruption, and assess whether decreasing sleep disruptions lowers sedative use in medical-surgical patients.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Interventional trial with historical controls on a medical-surgical unit of a community teaching hospital. Nurses, physicians, and patients were blinded to the measurement of as-needed sedative use.

PATIENTS:

Consecutive eligible adults (n = 161 preintervention patients, n = 106 intervention patients).

INTERVENTION:

We developed the "Somerville Protocol," which included the establishment of an 8-hour "Quiet Time" that began with automated lights-off and lullaby; staff-monitored noise; and avoidance of waking of patients for routine vital signs and medications.

MEASUREMENTS:

As-needed sedative use, responses to a patient questionnaire, and responses to a modified Verran Snyder-Halpern (VSH) sleep scale.

RESULTS:

Preintervention, "hospital staff " was the disturbance most likely to keep patients awake. The intervention decreased the proportion of patients reporting it from 42% to 26%, a 38% reduction (P = 0.009; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.0452-0.2765). Preintervention, 32% of patients received as-needed sedatives, compared to 16% with the intervention, a 49% reduction (P = 0.0041; 95% CI: 0.056-0.26), with a 62% decrease in patients over age 64 years (P = 0.005). VSH scores were unchanged.

CONCLUSIONS:

Small modifications in hospital routines, especially in the timing of vital signs and routine medication administration, can significantly reduce sedative use in unselected hospital patients.

PMID:
19768797
DOI:
10.1002/jhm.549
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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