Development of a scale measuring the difficulties faced by nurses who care for patients with delirium in intensive care units



      Delirium in patients in the intensive care unit is associated with adverse outcomes. Nurses experience many difficulties in caring for those with delirium, which can lead to nurse burnout, prevent effective care for patients, and negatively impact the patient. The identification of factors creating challenges for nurses is, therefore, important to enable intervention.


      The aim of this study was to develop a new scale to assess the difficulties faced by nurses caring for patients with delirium in the intensive care unit and to examine its reliability and validity.


      We based our draft scale items on literature reviews and interviews. Four experts evaluated the collected items. After a pilot study, 211 nurses working in intensive care units in Japan completed the questionnaire. Subsequent statistical analysis of results included factor validity, construct validity, known-group validity, internal consistency, and test–retest reliability.


      Exploratory factor analysis extracted a scale of 33 items with eight factors and an additional scale of four items with one factor. The analysis of construct validity suggested a possible association with the Strain of Care for Delirium Index. In the known-group validity, a comparison with two groups based on experience in the intensive care unit found significant differences among the five factors. Internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.68–.87) and test–retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients = .46–.62) were confirmed.


      We developed a difficulty scale for nurses caring for patients with delirium in the intensive care unit and confirmed its reliability and validity. The difficulty factors were developed with the intention to identify educational interventions for nurses and the introduction of new organisational resources, such as manpower and providing emotional support and feedback to nurses.


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