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Incidence, risk factors, and phenomenological characteristics of postoperative delirium in patients receiving intravenous patient-controlled analgesia: a prospective cohort study

Authors Lin YT, Lan KM, Wang LK, Chu CC, Wu SZ, Chang CY, Chen JY

Received 15 August 2016

Accepted for publication 7 November 2016

Published 13 December 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 3205—3212

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S119817

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang


Yao Tsung Lin,1 Kuo Mao Lan,1 Li-Kai Wang,1 Chin-Chen Chu,1 Su-Zhen Wu,1 Chia-Yu Chang,2 Jen-Yin Chen1,3

1Department of Anesthesiology, 2Department of Neurology, Chi Mei Medical Center, 3Department of the Senior Citizen Service Management, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan, Taiwan

Background: Intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IVPCA) is a common method of relieving pain which is a risk factor of postoperative delirium (POD). However, research concerning POD in IVPCA patients is limited.
Objective: We aimed to determine the incidence, risk factors, and phenomenological characteristics of POD in patients receiving IVPCA.
Methods: A prospective, cohort study was conducted in post-general anesthesia IVPCA patients aged ≥60 years. POD was measured by the Nursing Delirium Screening Scale (NuDESC; 0–10). Delirium, pain severity at rest and/or on movement, and side effects of IVPCA during 3 postoperative days were examined twice-daily by the acute pain service team. Pain severity is measured by an 11-point verbal numerical rating scale (11-point VNRS) (0–10). An 11-point VNRS >3 was considered inadequate pain relief. If POD (detected by NuDESC ≥1) is suspected, consulting a neurologist or a psychiatrist to confirm suspected POD is required.
Results: In total, 1,608 patients were included. The incidence rate of POD was 2.2%. Age ≥70 years and American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status >III were the risk factors of POD in IVPCA patients. Approximately three-quarters of all POD cases occurred within the first 2 postoperative days. For pain at rest, patients with inadequate pain relief had significantly greater rates of POD than patients with adequate pain relief (day 1, 8.4% vs 1.5%, P<0.001; day 2, 9.6% vs 2.0%, P=0.028; day 3, 4.1% vs 2.1%, P=0.412). However, the incidence of POD was not associated with movement-evoked pain relief. Most (79.9%) POD cases in IVPCA patients showed either one or two symptoms. The symptoms of POD were ranked from high to low as disorientation (65.7%), illusions/hallucinations (37.1%), inappropriate communication (31.4%), inappropriate behavior (25.7%), and psychomotor retardation (14.2%).
Conclusion: The incidence rate of POD in IVPCA patients was low. Further research is warranted concerning POD and IVPCA pain management.

Keywords: postoperative delirium, postoperative analgesia, patient-controlled analgesia

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