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The 3D-CAM provides a brief, easy to use, sensitive and specific delirium assessment tool for older hospitalised patients, both with and without dementia
  1. Margaret A Pisani
  1. School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA; margaret.pisani{at}yale.edu

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ABSTRACT FROM: Marcantonio ER, Ngo LH, O'Connor M et al. 3D-CAM: derivation and validation of a 3-minute diagnostic interview for CAM-defined delirium: a cross-sectional diagnostic test study. Ann Intern Med 2014;161:554–61.

What is already known on this topic

Delirium is a frequent occurrence in hospitalised patients and leads to increased morbidity, mortality and cost.1 Multiple delirium assessment tools have been developed for clinical use. The confusion assessment method (CAM) was developed in 1990, but it is time consuming for clinical staff to administer on a routine basis. The derivation and validation of the simplified 3D-CAM (three-dimensional confusion assessment method) operationalises the CAM as a clinical delirium assessment tool that allows caregivers at the bedside to easily screen for delirium.

Methods of the study

The 3D-CAM was developed using a data set of 4598 delirium assessments collected during a multicenter delirium-abatement programme.2 Items from the delirium assessments were mapped to the four CAM diagnostic features (acute change or fluctuating course, inattention, disorganised thinking, altered level …

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