DOI: 10.1097/cce.0000000000000972 ISSN:

Perspectives on Sedation Among Interdisciplinary Team Members in ICU: A Survey Study

Mikita Fuchita, Caitlin Blaine, Alexis Keyworth, Kathryn Morfin, Blake Primi, Kyle Ridgeway, Nikki Stake, Helen Watson, Dan Matlock, Anuj B. Mehta
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


To explore the interdisciplinary team members’ beliefs and attitudes about sedation when caring for mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU.


Cross-sectional survey.


A 17-bed cardiothoracic ICU at a tertiary care academic hospital in Colorado.


All nurses, physicians, advanced practice providers (APPs), respiratory therapists, physical therapists (PTs), and occupational therapists (OTs) who work in the cardiothoracic ICU.




We modified a validated survey instrument to evaluate perspectives on sedation across members of the interdisciplinary ICU team. Survey responses were collected anonymously from 111 members (81% response rate). Respondents were predominantly female (70 [63%]). Most respondents across disciplines (94%) believed that their sedation practice made a difference in patients’ outcomes. More nurses (48%), APPs (62%), and respiratory therapists (50%) believed that sedation could help alleviate the psychologic stress that patients experience on the ventilator than physicians (19%) and PTs/OTs (0%) (p = 0.008). The proportion of respondents who preferred to be sedated if they were mechanically ventilated themselves varied widely by discipline: respiratory therapists (88%), nurses (83%), APPs (54%), PTs/OTs (38%), and physicians (19%) (p < 0.001). In our exploratory analysis, listeners of an educational podcast had beliefs and attitudes more aligned with best evidence-based practices than nonlisteners.


We discovered significant interdisciplinary differences in the beliefs and attitudes regarding sedation use in the ICU. Since all ICU team members are involved in managing mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU, aligning the mental models of sedation may be essential to enhance interprofessional collaboration and promote sedation best practices.

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