An empirical study of diagnostic criteria for delirium

Benjamin Liptzin, Sue E. Levkoff, Paul D. Cleary, David M. Pilgrim, Catherine H. Reilly, Marilyn Albert, Terrie T. Wetle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine empirically how many patients are identified as delirious or nondelirious according to DSM-III, DSM-III-R, and ICD-10 criteria. Method: Daily, a trained research assistant using a structured instrument to detect the presence of symptoms of delirium evaluated 325 elderly patients who were admitted to a general hospital for acute medical problems. Each patient's symptoms were then compared with these diagnostic criteria sets to determine if the patient met criteria for delirium. Results: DSM-III criteria were the most inclusive: they identified 125 patients as delirious. DSM-III-R identified a somewhat different group of 106 patients as delirious. ICD-10 criteria identified only 30 patients as delirious. Conclusions: The development of new criteria for delirium (e.g., DSM-IV) will have to balance the need to define a pure group of patients for research purposes with the need to include cases of clinical interest. Changes in criteria should be based on data such as those presented in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-457
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume148
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1991
Externally publishedYes

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Delirium
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
International Classification of Diseases
Research
General Hospitals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Liptzin, B., Levkoff, S. E., Cleary, P. D., Pilgrim, D. M., Reilly, C. H., Albert, M., & Wetle, T. T. (1991). An empirical study of diagnostic criteria for delirium. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148(4), 454-457.

An empirical study of diagnostic criteria for delirium. / Liptzin, Benjamin; Levkoff, Sue E.; Cleary, Paul D.; Pilgrim, David M.; Reilly, Catherine H.; Albert, Marilyn; Wetle, Terrie T.

In: American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 148, No. 4, 04.1991, p. 454-457.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Liptzin, B, Levkoff, SE, Cleary, PD, Pilgrim, DM, Reilly, CH, Albert, M & Wetle, TT 1991, 'An empirical study of diagnostic criteria for delirium', American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 148, no. 4, pp. 454-457.
Liptzin B, Levkoff SE, Cleary PD, Pilgrim DM, Reilly CH, Albert M et al. An empirical study of diagnostic criteria for delirium. American Journal of Psychiatry. 1991 Apr;148(4):454-457.
Liptzin, Benjamin ; Levkoff, Sue E. ; Cleary, Paul D. ; Pilgrim, David M. ; Reilly, Catherine H. ; Albert, Marilyn ; Wetle, Terrie T. / An empirical study of diagnostic criteria for delirium. In: American Journal of Psychiatry. 1991 ; Vol. 148, No. 4. pp. 454-457.
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