Development of a non-pharmacologic delirium management bundle in paediatric intensive care units

Rikke Louise Stenkjaer, Suzanne Forsyth Herling, Ingrid Egerod, Janne Weis, Monique van Dijk, Sapna Ravi Kudchadkar, Anne-Sylvie Ramelet, Erwin Ista


BACKGROUND: Non-pharmacologic interventions might be effective to reduce the incidence of delirium in pediatric intensive care units (PICU).

AIM: To explore expert opinions and generate informed consensus decisions regarding the content of a non-pharmacologic delirium bundle to manage delirium in PICU patients.

STUDY DESIGN: A two-round online Delphi study was conducted from February to April 2021. PICU experts (nurses, physicians, researchers, physical therapists, play specialists, and occupational therapists) located in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australia participated.

RESULTS: We developed a questionnaire based on the outcomes of a comprehensive literature search in the domains: 1) cognition support; 2) sleep support; and 3) physical activity support. Under these domains, we listed 11 strategies to promote support with 61 interventions. Participants rated the feasibility of each intervention on a 9-point Likert scale (ranging from 1 strongly disagree to 9 strongly agree). A disagreement index and panel median were calculated to determine the level of agreement among experts. In the second round, participants reassessed the revised statements and ranked the interventions in each domain in order of importance for age groups: 0-2, 3-5, and 6-18 years of age. During the first Delphi round, 53 of 74 (72%) questionnaires were completed, and in the second round 45 of 74 (61%) were completed. Five of the highest ranked interventions across the age groups were: 1) developing a daily routine, 2) adjusting light exposure according to the time of day, 3) scheduling time for sleep, 4) providing eyeglasses and hearing aids if appropriate, 5) encouraging parental presence.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on expert consensus, we developed an age-specific non-pharmacologic delirium bundle of interventions to manage delirium in PICU patients.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: An age-specific Non-Pharmacological Delirium bundle is now ready to be tested in the PICU and will hopefully reduce pediatric delirium.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNursing in critical care
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)867-876
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Australia
  • Child
  • Delirium/therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Sleep
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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