Detecting pediatric delirium: development of a rapid observational assessment tool

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ObjectiveDevelopment of a novel screening tool for the detection of delirium in pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients of all ages by comparison with psychiatric assessment based on the reference standard Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria.MethodsThis was a prospective blinded pilot study investigating the feasibility of the Cornell Assessment of Pediatric Delirium (CAP-D) performed in a PICU at a university hospital. Fifty patients, ages 3 months to 21 years, admitted to the PICU over a 6-week period were included. No interventions were performed.ResultsAfter informed consent was obtained, two study teams independently assessed for delirium by completing the CAP-D and by conducting psychiatric evaluation based on the DSM-IV criteria. Concordance between the CAP-D and DSM-IV criteria was excellent, at 97%. Prevalence of delirium in this sample was 29%.ConclusionThe CAP-D may be a valid screen for identification of delirium in PICU patients of all ages. Further studies are required to explore its validity, inter-rater reliability, and feasibility of use as a nursing screen.

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