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Student Research explained

Outcome of delirium in critically ill patients

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 14 July 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h3361
  1. Wim Weber, European research editor
  1. 1The BMJ

Systematic review and meta-analysis

The paper

Outcome of delirium in critically ill patients: systematic review and meta-analysis by Jorge IF Salluh and colleagues (BMJ 2015;350:h2538)


Objectives—To determine the relation between delirium in critically ill patients and their outcomes in the short term (in the intensive care unit and in hospital) and after discharge from hospital

Design—Systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies

Data sources—PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, and PsychINFO, with no language restrictions, up to 1 January 2015

Eligibility criteria for selection studies—Reports were eligible for inclusion if they were prospective observational cohorts or clinical trials of adults in intensive care units who were assessed with a validated delirium screening or rating system, and if the association was measured between delirium and at least one of four clinical endpoints (death during admission, length of stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, and any outcome after hospital discharge). Studies were excluded if they primarily enrolled patients with a neurological disorder or patients admitted to intensive care after cardiac surgery or organ/tissue transplantation, or centered on sedation management or alcohol or substance withdrawal. Data were extracted on characteristics of studies, populations sampled, identification of delirium, and outcomes. Random effects models and meta-regression analyses were used to pool data from individual studies

Results—Delirium was identified in 5280 of 16 595 (31.8%) critically ill patients reported in 42 studies. When compared with control patients without delirium, patients with delirium had significantly higher mortality during admission (risk ratio 2.19, 94% confidence interval 1.78 to 2.70; P<0.001) as well as longer durations of mechanical ventilation and lengths of stay in the intensive care unit and in hospital (standard mean differences 1.79 (95% confidence interval 0.31 to 3.27; P<0.001), 1.38 (0.99 to 1.77; P<0.001), and 0.97 (0.61 to 1.33; P<0.001), respectively). Available studies …

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