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Dynamics. 2012 Winter;23(4):18-24.

A survey of nurses' perceptions of the intensive care delirium screening checklist.

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Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.



Delirium in critically ill patients is common and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Routine delirium screening is recommended by the Society of Critical Care Medicine. The Intensive Care Delirium Screening Checklist (ICDSC) is one validated and commonly-used tool, but little is known about nurses'perceptions of using the ICDSC, and of barriers to delirium assessment and treatment.


A survey was administered to 189 critical care-trained nurses working on four oncology inpatient units, where the ICDSC has been used for greater than five years.


Eighty-four nurses (44%) responded to the survey. Respondents indicated that they had knowledge of delirium, confidence in the ICDSC, and that the ICDSC was useful. Respondents perceived that physicians did not value the ICDSC results. Similar to prior nurse surveys for other delirium screening tools, physicians were the most frequently identified barrier to both delirium assessment and treatment, with other frequent barriers being lack of time, feedback on performance, and knowledge of delirium.


The ICDSC is viewed favourably by nurses with experience using the tool. Future delirium screening programs should encourage physician engagement early in the planning process to help address perceived barriers to delirium assessment and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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