What effects do pharmacological treatments for delirium have on the duration of delirium in critically ill adults?

Delirium is one of the most common behavioral manifestations of acute brain dysfunction in patients in intensive care units (ICUs), affecting up to 80% of those who are critically ill. Delirium is characterized by inattention, altered consciousness, and disorganized thinking, and it is associated with various serious adverse outcomes including hospital and ICU mortality, longer duration of mechanical ventilator support, prolonged ICU and hospital stays, and long-term cognitive impairment. For this reason, nurses must appropriately manage delirium to minimize adverse outcomes.

Treatment options include both pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions, although serious illness often requires a pharmacological treatment. The effectiveness of such regimens vary and are not standardized internationally. The most common pharmacological interventions are antipsychotic medications, yet published evidence provides mixed support for their use. A Cochrane systematic review by...

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