Sleep and sedation practices of Intensive Care nurses: a United Kingdom survey

Jennifer McGaughey, Murali Shyamsundar, Annette Richardson, Bronagh Blackwood

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Introduction The use of non-pharmacological for sleep promotion are suggested as an alternative to pharmacological interventions to prevent ICU delirium (Hu et al 2015). Little is known regarding nurses' role in ICU sleep and sedation practices. Aim The aim of this study was to undertake a survey of existing practice to determine current sleep and sedation practices in ICU in the United Kingdom. Setting & participants ICUs across the United Kingdom were surveyed as part of a larger international study. Lead nurses in each ICU completed a questionnaire which was adapted from a previous version developed in the Netherlands (Hofhuis et al 2012). Methods The Critical Care National Network Nurse Leads Forum (CC3N) distributed a cover letter and web link to all Lead Nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Questionnaires were distributed to 150 ICUs using Survey Monkey. Submission of completed questionnaires was taken as consent. Data was analysed in Excel. Results Forty-eight ICUs responded to the questionnaire. The most commonly identified reason for poor sleep quality was disturbed night/ day cycle (14%) or delirium (12%). Non-pharmacological interventions routinely used by nurses to improve sleep were reducing ICU staff noise (47%), turning room lights off (79%)and delaying routine blood work until morning (62%). However, earplugs (70%) or eye masks (83%) interventions were seldom or never used. The majority of units did not have a sleep protocol (96%). The RASS-score was the most common sedation tool (81%) used every 1-2 hours (54%) day and night (71%). Clinical assessment and sedation score (36%) were used by nurses and physicians (60%) to determine sleep medication. Remifentanyl (46%)and Propofol (36%) were the most frequent medications used for sleep. Conclusion There is a need for further research to understand the challenges to enhancing sleep and sedation practices in ICU. References Hu RE et al (2015) Non-pharmacological interventions for sleep promotion in the intensive care unit Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventEuropean federation of Critical Care Nurses conference -
Duration: 18 Feb 2016 → …


ConferenceEuropean federation of Critical Care Nurses conference
Period18/02/2016 → …


  • Critical Care


Dive into the research topics of 'Sleep and sedation practices of Intensive Care nurses: a United Kingdom survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this