Diagnostic accuracy of the Dutch version of the 4AT for delirium detection in a mixed patient population and setting

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BACKGROUND: Delirium is an acute disturbance in attention, awareness and cognition. Immediate detection in older adults is recommended because delirium is associated with adverse outcomes. The 4 'A's Test (4AT) is a short screening instrument for delirium. The aim of this study is to evaluate diagnostic accuracy of the Dutch version of the screening tool 4AT for delirium detection in different settings.

METHODS: Prospective observational study conducted in two hospitals in patients aged ≥ 65 years in geriatric wards and the Emergency Department (ED). Each participant underwent two assessments; the index test 4AT, followed by the reference standard for delirium performed by a geriatric care specialist. The reference standard delirium is according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) criteria.

RESULTS: A total of 71 geriatric inpatients and 49 older ED patients were included. The prevalence of delirium was 11.6% in the acute geriatric ward and 6.1% in the ED. The sensitivity and specificity of the 4AT in the acute geriatric ward were 0.88 and 0.69, respectively. In the ED, the sensitivity and specificity were 0.67 and 0.83, respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.80 for the acute geriatric ward setting and 0.74 for the ED setting.

CONCLUSION: The Dutch version of the 4AT is a reliable screening tool for delirium detection in both acute geriatric wards and ED. Due to its brevity and practicality (i.e., no special training is required to administer the tool), it is useful in clinical practice.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1705-1710
Aantal pagina's6
TijdschriftAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume35
Nummer van het tijdschrift8
DOI's
StatusPublished - aug.-2023

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