Effects of simulation-based education module on delirium care in undergraduate nursing students: A quasi-experimental study

Publication Name

Nurse Education in Practice


Aim: To examine the effects of a delirium education module on undergraduate nursing students’ knowledge of and perceived confidence and competence in delirium care. Background: Delirium is common in intensive care units (ICUs) and leads to poor clinical outcomes. The under recognition of delirium is a major problem in ICU medicine. Nurses, as first-line health care providers, can address this by recognizing patients who are experiencing delirium. Since undergraduate nursing students will be the future ICU nurses, it is important to deliver the knowledge regarding delirium care. However, education about assessing delirium in ICUs among undergraduate nursing students is lacking. Design: Quasi-experimental study. Methods: A total of 74 undergraduate students were divided into an intervention group (n=34) and a comparison group (n=40). A 2-hour simulation-based delirium education module integrated into a critical care curriculum was delivered to the intervention group only. The classroom-based intervention was administered at a medical university in northern Taiwan. Study outcomes were measured using a structured survey including (1) a 16-item delirium care knowledge quiz, (2) confidence in delirium care scale and (3) competence in delirium care scale. The survey was distributed to students before and after the module in December 2020. The Mann–Whitney U test, chi-square test and Fisher's exact test were adopted to test the differences of all variables between groups. A generalized estimating equation model was used to investigate the adjusted treatment effects. Results: The participants had a median age of 22 years and 81% were female. The delirium education module yielded greater knowledge (B = 3.04, 95% confidence interval = 2.20–3.88), confidence (B = 4.20, 95% confidence interval = 2.67–5.73) and competence (B = 4.82, 95% confidence interval = 3.33–6.30) in delirium care when the treatment and control groups were compared. Conclusions: For undergraduate nursing students, simulation-based education module is effective in improving the knowledge of and confidence and competence in delirium care. It is recommended that this be included in critical care nursing curricula.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access



Article Number




Link to publisher version (DOI)