Delirium Instruments

Dr. Sharon Inouye and colleagues have developed several instruments for the recognition and diagnosis of delirium. The instruments, training manuals, and recommendations for use are described in this section.

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Confusion Assessment Method (Short CAM): The Short CAM contains the 4 items of the CAM diagnostic algorithm. These are the first 4 items of the full 10-item CAM.

  • Recommended use: most widely used method for detection of delirium for both clinical and research applications. Should be scored on the basis of cognitive screening tests (e.g. SPMSQ or Mini-Cog).
  • Translations available in Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish.

Confusion Assessment Method (Long CAM): This 10-item tool is the gold standard for delirium identification in research situations.

  • Recommended use: broad research and clinical applications. Considered the gold standard for rating delirium-- including diagnosis, severity, and behavioral subtype.

CAM-S: The CAM-S measures delirium severity based on the Short or Long CAM assessments.

  • Recommended use: assessment of delirium severity in research or clinical situations

FAM-CAM (family assessment of delirium): The FAM-CAM is designed to be used with family caregivers to enhance the recognition of delirium.

  • Recommended use: family assessment in research or clinical situations

3D-CAM (brief cognitive screen with CAM): The 3D-CAM is a 3-minute diagnostic assessment of delirium.

  • Recommended use: quick assessment of delirium in research or clinical situations

CHART-DEL: Chart-based Delirium Identification Instrument.

  • The CHART-DEL is a validated method that can be used to review charts (medical records) to detect the presence of delirium.