Detecting delirium superimposed on dementia: diagnostic accuracy of a simple combined arousal and attention testing procedure.

As discussed in another paper in this review, it is difficult to diagnose delirium where dementia already exists. Richardson et al. (2017) hypothesised that a combined arousal and attention testing procedure could accurately detect delirium superimposed on dementia (DSD). Patients over 70yrs of age were recruited from five hospitals across Europe, including Ireland. Attention was measured using a vigilance task and arousal was measured using OSLA (Tieges et al., 2013). The authors found that this combination of tests specifically identified delirium in patients with and without dementia, with high levels of accuracy. Acknowledging limitations such as small sample size and the fact that only prevalent delirium was examined, the authors argue that the findings suggest such an approach could have major clinical utility.
Title: 
Detecting delirium superimposed on dementia: diagnostic accuracy of a simple combined arousal and attention testing procedure.
Date: 
2017
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References: 
Richardson, S.J., Davis, D.H., Bellelli, G., Hasemann, W., Meagher, D., Kreisel, S.H., MacLullich, A.M., Cerejeira, J. and Morandi, A., 2017. Detecting delirium superimposed on dementia: diagnostic accuracy of a simple combined arousal and attention testing procedure. International psychogeriatrics, 29(10), pp.1585-1593.