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14.01.2022 | Themenschwerpunkt Open Access

Comparison of delirium detection tools in acute care

A rapid review

Zeitschrift:
Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie
Autoren:
Dr. Simone Brefka, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wilhelm Eschweiler, PD Ph.D. Dr. Dhayana Dallmeier, Prof. Dr. Michael Denkinger, Dr. Christoph Leinert
Wichtige Hinweise

Supplementary Information

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00391-021-02003-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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Abstract

Background

Delirium is a frequent psychopathological syndrome in geriatric patients. It is sometimes the only symptom of acute illness and bears a high risk for complications. Therefore, feasible assessments are needed for delirium detection.

Objective and methods

Rapid review of available delirium assessments based on a current Medline search and cross-reference check with a special focus on those implemented in acute care hospital settings.

Results

A total of 75 delirium detection tools were identified. Many focused on inattention as well as acute onset and/or fluctuating course of cognitive changes as key features for delirium. A range of assessments are based on the confusion assessment method (CAM) that has been adapted for various clinical settings. The need for a collateral history, time resources and staff training are major challenges in delirium assessment. Latest tests address these through a two-step approach, such as the ultrabrief (UB) CAM or by optional assessment of temporal aspects of cognitive changes (4 As test, 4AT). Most delirium screening assessments are validated for patient interviews, some are suitable for monitoring delirium symptoms over time or diagnosing delirium based on collateral history only.

Conclusion

Besides the CAM the 4AT has become well-established in acute care because of its good psychometric properties and practicability. There are several other instruments extending and improving the possibilities of delirium detection in different clinical settings.

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