PURPOSE: To describe sleep assessment and strategies to promote sleep in adult ICUs in ten countries.
METHODS: Multicenter, self-administered survey sent to nurse managers.
RESULTS: Response rate was 66% with 522 ICUs providing data. 'Lying quietly with closed eyes' was the characteristic most frequently perceived as indicative of sleep by >60% of responding ICUs in all countries except Italy. Few ICUs (9%) had a protocol for sleep management or used sleep questionnaires (1%). Compared to ICUs in Northern Europe, those in central Europe were more likely to have a sleep promoting protocol (p < 0.001), and to want to implement a protocol (p < 0.001). In >80% of responding ICUs, the most common non-pharmacological sleep-promoting interventions were reducing ICU staff noise, light, and nurse interventions at night; only 18% used earplugs frequently. Approximately 50% of ICUs reported sleep medication selection and assessment of effect were performed by physicians and nurses collaboratively. A multivariable model identified perceived nursing influence on sleep decision-making was associated with asking patients or family about sleep preferences (p = 0.004).
CONCLUSIONS: We found variation in sleep promotion interventions across European regions with few ICUs using sleep assessment questionnaires or sleep promoting protocols. However, many ICUs perceive implementation of sleep protocols important, particularly those in central Europe.