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Delirium is a frequent and severe complication of serious pediatric illness. Development of a nonpharmacologic approach to prevent pediatric delirium may improve short- and long-term outcomes in children and their families. In this brief report, we describe the development of a quality improvement project designed to methodically promote the family member's engagement, comforting, and orienting activities with their critically ill child to decrease delirium rates.
We created a developmentally specific Delirium Prevention Toolkit for families. In a feasibility pilot, March through June 2016, we offered the kit to 15 patients and their families. On discharge, families were asked to describe use of the toolkit and whether or not it was helpful for them.
Twelve of 15 patients and families used various elements of the toolkit, particularly the headphones, music, and games; no one regularly used the blank journal. All reported that it was easy and helpful to have as support for their stay in the pediatric intensive care unit.
Significance of results
This pilot demonstrated practicality of a nonpharmacologic delirium prevention toolkit in the pediatric intensive care unit, and satisfaction from patients and families.
The recently validated Cornell Assessment for Pediatric Delirium (CAPD) is a new rapid bedside nursing screen for delirium in hospitalized children of all ages. The present manuscript provides a “developmental anchor points” reference chart, which helps ground clinicians' assessment of CAPD symptom domains in a developmental understanding of the presentation of delirium.
During the development of this CAPD screening tool, it became clear that clinicians need specific guidance and training to help them draw on their expertise in child development and pediatrics to improve the interpretative reliability of the tool and its accuracy in diagnosing delirium. The developmental anchor points chart was formulated and reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel of experts to evaluate content validity and include consideration of sick behaviors within a hospital setting.
The CAPD developmental anchor points for the key ages of newborn, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 28 weeks, 1 year, and 2 years served as the basis for training bedside nurses in scoring the CAPD for the validation trial and as a multifaceted bedside reference chart to be implemented within a clinical setting. In the current paper, we discuss the lessons learned during implementation, with particular emphasis on the importance of collaboration with the bedside nurse, the challenges of establishing a developmental baseline, and further questions about delirium diagnosis in children.
Significance of Results:
The CAPD with developmental anchor points provides a validated, structured, and developmentally informed approach to screening and assessment of delirium in children. With minimal training on the use of the tool, bedside nurses and other pediatric practitioners can reliably identify children at risk for delirium.
Our aim was to evaluate interrater reliability for the diagnosis of pediatric delirium by child psychiatrists.
Critically ill patients (N = 17), 0–21 years old, including 7 infants, 5 children with developmental delay, and 7 intubated children, were assessed for delirium using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual–IV (DSM–IV) (comparable to DSM–V) criteria. Delirium assessments were completed by two psychiatrists, each blinded to the other's diagnosis, and interrater reliability was measured using Cohen's κ coefficient along with its 95% confidence interval.
Interrater reliability for the psychiatric assessment was high (Cohen's κ = 0.94, CI [0.83, 1.00]). Delirium diagnosis showed excellent interrater reliability regardless of age, developmental delay, or intubation status (Cohen's κ range 0.81–1.00).
Significance of results:
In our study cohort, the psychiatric interview and exam, long considered the “gold standard” in the diagnosis of delirium, was highly reliable, even in extremely young, critically ill, and developmentally delayed children. A developmental approach to diagnosing delirium in this challenging population is recommended.
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