Delirium is a critical challenge in the intensive care unit (ICU) or high care unit (HCU) setting and is associated with poor outcomes. There is not much literature on how many patients in this setting are assessed for delirium and what tools are used. This study investigated the status of delirium assessment tools of patients in the ICU/HCU. We conducted a multicenter prospective observational study among 20 institutions. Data for patients who were admitted to and discharged from the ICU/HCU during a 1-month study period were collected from each institution using a survey sheet. The primary outcome was the usage rate of delirium assessment tools on an institution- and patient-basis. Secondary outcomes were the delirium prevalence assessed by each institution’s assessment tool, comparison of delirium prevalence between delirium assessment tools, delirium prevalence at the end of ICH/HCU stay, and the relationship between potential factors related to delirium and the development of delirium. Result showed that 95% of institutions used the Intensive Care Delirium Screening Checklist (ICDSC) or the Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU (CAM-ICU) to assess delirium in their ICU/HCU, and the remaining one used another assessment scale. The usage rate (at least once during the ICU/HCU stay) of the ICDSC and the CAM-ICU among individual patients were 64.5% and 25.1%, and only 8.2% of enrolled patients were not assessed by any delirium assessment tool. The prevalence of delirium during ICU/HCU stay was 17.9%, and the prevalence of delirium at the end of the ICU/HCU stay was 5.9%. In conclusion, all institutions used delirium assessment tools in the ICU/HCU, and most patients received delirium assessment. The prevalence of delirium was 17.9%, and two-thirds of patients had recovered at discharge from ICU/HCU. Trial registration number: UMIN000037834.
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