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VOLUME 25 , ISSUE 12 ( December, 2021 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Understanding the Barriers in Delirium Care in an Intensive Care Unit: A Survey of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Current Practices among Medical Professionals Working in Intensive Care Units in Teaching Hospitals of Central Province, Sri Lanka

Tilani M Jayasinghe Arachchi, Vasanthi Pinto

Keywords : Attitudes on delirium, Current practice, Delirium care, Knowledge on delirium, Sri Lanka delirium management

Citation Information : Arachchi TM, Pinto V. Understanding the Barriers in Delirium Care in an Intensive Care Unit: A Survey of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Current Practices among Medical Professionals Working in Intensive Care Units in Teaching Hospitals of Central Province, Sri Lanka. Indian J Crit Care Med 2021; 25 (12):1413-1420.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-24040

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 17-12-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Background: Delirium is a common, underdiagnosed, and undertreated condition that increases morbidity and mortality in ICU patients which has an incidence up to 80%. Barriers that hinder optimum care of delirium include inadequate knowledge, poor attitudes, and low perceived importance of delirium care. Aim: To assess attitudes, knowledge, and current practices related to delirium care among medical professionals working in intensive care units (ICUs) in all teaching hospitals in Central Province, Sri Lanka, as there are no Sri Lankan studies on this regard. Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among all medical professionals working in nine ICUs in all (n = 5) teaching hospitals in Central Province. Data were collected using a pretested self-administered questionnaire. Responses to questions were compared between postgraduate trainee medical officers (PG-MOs) and non-postgraduate-trainee medical officers (non-PG-MOs). Results: Eighty-eight questionnaires were analyzed. More than 80% of PGs and non-PG-MOs regarded ICU delirium as significant problem that should be screened and prevented. Forty-one percent stated confidence in diagnosing delirium. However, more than 75% of non-PG-MOs failed to recognize features of hypoactive delirium. Only 30–50% subjects in incorporated preventive methods in usual practice and more than 60% non-PG-MOs had poor knowledge and experience on delirium screening. More than 80% of the participants did not routinely screen their patients. More than 90% non-PG-MOs (p <0.05) had no recent educational exposure. Conclusion: A positive attitude toward the importance of management of delirium was observed. However, there is a discrepancy between the perceived importance and the current practice related to screening and prevention. Participants, especially non-PG-MOs, lacked knowledge on delirium screening, diagnosis, and identification of risk factors, probably related to a lack of educational exposure.

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