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Functional intervention following cardiac surgery to prevent postoperative delirium in older patients (FEEL WELL study).

Journal of Intensive Care 2023 December 14
BACKGROUND: Postoperative delirium is a common complication in patients after cardiac surgery, especially in older patients, and can manifest as a disturbance of attention and consciousness. It can lead to increased postoperative morbidity, prolonged need for care, and mortality. The presented study investigates whether the occurrence of postoperative delirium after cardiac surgery can be prevented by a multisensory stimulation. It was conducted as a prospective, randomized, controlled, non-pharmacological intervention study in the years 2021 and 2022 at the University Hospital Bonn in Germany. A total of 186 patients over 65 years with elective cardiac surgery were enrolled. Patients were randomized either to the intervention or control group. In both groups, postoperative delirium was assessed with the 3-min diagnostic interview for confusion assessment method on the first 5 days after surgery and pain was assessed using the Numeric Rating Scale. Multisensory stimulation was performed 20 min a day for the first three postoperative days in the intervention group.

RESULTS: The incidence of postoperative delirium was 22.6% in the intervention group and 49.5% in the control group (p < 0.001). Duration of postoperative delirium was significantly shorter in the intervention group (p < 0.001). Stay in the intensive care unit was significantly longer in the control group (p = 0.006). In the regression model non-intervention, high pain scores, advanced age, and prolonged mechanical ventilation were associated with postoperative delirium (p = 0.007; p = 0.032; p = 0.006; p = 0.006, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Results of the study imply that a multisensory stimulation done on the first 3 days after planned cardiac surgery can reduce the incidence and duration of postoperative delirium in older patients. Influence of the treatment on the incidence of delirium in other patient groups, the length of stay in the intensive care unit, and patients´ postoperative pain should be confirmed in further clinical studies.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: DRKS, DRKS00026909. Registered 28 October 2021, Retrospectively registered, https://drks.de/search/de/trial/DRKS00026909 .

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