The Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU) is a validated tool for diagnosing delirium in the ICU and yields 1 of 3 ratings: positive, negative, and unable to assess (UTA). It was hypothesized that an educational campaign focused on establishing patients’ arousal as comatose versus noncomatose before initiating the CAM-ICU would decrease the incidence of inappropriate UTA ratings.
To compare the incidence of inappropriate UTA ratings before and after an educational campaign.
An interventional, quasi-experimental study was conducted in a surgical ICU at a tertiary academic medical center. A nursing educational campaign was conducted from March 1 to March 7, 2012. Patients admitted to the surgical ICU from December 25, 2011 through January 25, 2012 were included in the baseline cohort, and patients admitted from March 9 through April 9, 2012 were included in the posteducation cohort. Inclusion criteria were admission to the surgical ICU for at least 24 hours and at least 1 CAM-ICU assessment.
The baseline cohort included 93 patients and the posteducation cohort included 96 patients. Patients were 41% less likely to receive an inappropriate UTA rating after the educational campaign (32% [30 of 93] baseline vs 19% [18 of 96], P = .03). Patients with concurrent mechanical ventilation were more likely to receive an inappropriate UTA rating in the baseline cohort (odds ratio, 30.7; 95% CI, 8.9–105.9; P < .001) and the posteducation cohort (odds ratio, 15.5; 95% CI, 4.1–59.5; P < .001).
The educational campaign decreased the incidence of inappropriate UTA ratings.