Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project


Background: Aging adults are part of the largest group of people receiving surgical interventions and at the highest risk for developing postoperative complications and suffer from cognitive decline, including delirium and postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD). Currently, there is research suggesting a correlation between regional cerebral oxygen saturation and the incidence of POCD. Further investigation is needed to establish a link between intraoperative cerebral hypoperfusion and POCD and to create recommendations on its use.

Objective: The focus of this systematic review was to evaluate current research on monitoring cerebral regional oxygen desaturation and the occurrence of POCD in patients over 60 years old enduring cardiac and non-cardiac surgical procedures. This project also assessed if an educational module used to educate anesthesia providers on cerebral oximetry and POCD increased cognitive evaluation frequency in the preoperative and postoperative period in patients at increased risk of developing POCD.

Methodology: With the information from the literature review. A pre-test, post-test and educational module was created to assess the knowledge of anesthesia providers.

Results: The pre-test and post-test did not demonstrate a significant shift in knowledge regarding cerebral oximetry use when caring for individuals at increased risk for POCD.

Discussion: These studies in the systematic review contained several limiting factors, including the limited number of randomized, double-blind studies, and the follow-up period to assess patients for cognitive decline varied with each study. The educational module’s sample size served as a limitation to the acquired results.

Conclusion: The educational module improved provider knowledge and attitudes in some areas; however, there was no significant change between the pretest and posttest assessment. Further assessments are required in the future to assess for provider knowledge and skills on utilizing the cerebral oximetry device as a tool to help reduce the incidence of POCD.