Delirium is a common but often underdiagnosed condition, particularly in older adults. However, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Sharon Inouye and her colleagues, there are now several instruments available for the recognition and diagnosis of delirium.
These instruments and their training manuals are freely available for download from a new site, https://help.agscocare.org/. Registration takes less than two minutes, and the tools can be downloaded immediately. Let’s take a closer look at some of these instruments:
The Confusion Assessment Method (Short CAM) is the most widely used method for the detection of delirium, both in clinical and research settings. It contains the first four items of the full 10-item CAM diagnostic algorithm and should be scored based on cognitive screening tests like the SPMSQ or Mini-Cog. It is available in several translations, including Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish.
The Confusion Assessment Method (Long CAM) is considered the gold standard for delirium identification in research situations. It is a 10-item tool that is useful for diagnosing delirium, assessing its severity, and identifying behavioral subtypes. This tool has broad research and clinical applications.
The CAM-S is a tool that measures delirium severity based on the Short or Long CAM assessments. It is useful for assessing delirium severity in both research and clinical settings.
The Family Assessment of Delirium (FAM-CAM) is designed to be used with family caregivers to enhance the recognition of delirium. This tool is especially useful for family assessment in research or clinical situations.
The 3D-CAM is a three-minute diagnostic assessment of delirium. It is a quick and useful tool for assessing delirium in research or clinical situations.
Finally, the Chart-based Delirium Identification Instrument (CHART-DEL) is a chart-based tool for identifying delirium. It is useful for clinicians who are not trained in conducting delirium assessments and can help improve recognition of delirium in clinical settings.
Overall, the availability of these instruments and their training manuals can help improve recognition and diagnosis of delirium, which can lead to better outcomes for patients. The fact that they are freely available for download is a great advantage for healthcare professionals and researchers who work with delirium.