Document Type

Research Project

Publication Date

12-2015

Abstract

Alcohol is one of the most abused substances worldwide. The regular consumption of alcohol can lead to dependency which depresses the central nervous system. Consequently, when a heavy drinker is no longer consuming alcohol, the central nervous system is no longer suppressed and may go into a hyperexcitable state known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). Symptoms can vary from mild to life threatening. Patients who experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms often have a more complicated hospitalization, an extended length of stay, and increased utilization of intensive care and medical services. The Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment of Alcohol Scale-revised (CIWA-Ar) is a tool that can be used to objectively assess patients for the development of AWS. By using the CIWA-Ar to assess patients, nurses can quantify the potential for the development of AWS and therefore initiate treatment for patients who require therapy.

The purpose of this research is to evaluate the impact that CIWA-Ar has on care provided by healthcare professionals.