Eighteen RCTs (n=2,708) were included in the review.
Delirium (8 RCTs, 765 patients).
The overall quality of the trials was poor; only one trial was of a good quality. One poor-quality RCT (n=60) reported a significant difference in delirium/confusion dependent on the type of anaesthesia; patients receiving regional anaesthesia had poorer outcomes. The remaining seven RCTs reported no significant differences between regional and general anaesthesia.
POCD (16 RCTs, 2,708 patients).
The overall quality of the trials was poor; only three trials were of a good quality. One poor-quality RCT (n=60) found a significant decline in cognitive function associated with general anaesthesia. The remaining RCTs showed differences, but these were due to within-group effects and not true effects associated with the use of different types of anaesthesia.