BACKGROUND: Delirium is common in critically ill patients with detrimental effects in terms of increased morbidity, mortality, costs, and human suffering. Delirium detection and management depends on systematic screening for delirium, which can be challenging to implement in clinical practice.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to explore how nurses in the intensive care unit perceived the use of Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU), the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit-7 (CAM-ICU-7), and Intensive Care Delirium Screening Checklist (ICDSC) for delirium screening of patients in the intensive care unit.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, electronic-based survey of nurses' perceptions of delirium screening with the three different instruments for delirium screening. Nurses were asked to grade their perception of the usability of the three instruments and how well they were perceived to detect delirium and delirium symptom changes on a 1- to 6-point Likert scale. Open questions about perceived advantages and disadvantages of each instrument were analysed using the framework method.
RESULTS: One hundred twenty-seven of 167 invited nurses completed the survey and rated the CAM-ICU-7 as faster and easier than the ICDSC, which was more nuanced and reflected changes in the patient's delirium better. Despite being rated as the fastest, easiest, and most used, the CAM-ICU provided less information and was considered inferior to the CAM-ICU-7 and ICDSC. Using familiar instruments made delirium screening easier, but being able to grade and nuance the delirium assessment was experienced as important for clinical practice.
CONCLUSIONS: Both the ICDSC and the CAM-ICU-7 were perceived well suited for detection of delirium and reflected changes in delirium intensity. The CAM-ICU was rated as fast and easy but inferior in its ability to grade and nuance the assessment of delirium. Emphasis on clinical meaningfulness and continued education in delirium screening are necessary for adherence to delirium management guidelines.