The Delirium Interview as a new reference standard in studies on delirium assessment tools

Fienke Ditzel*, Arjen Slooter, Mark van den Boogaard, Michel Boonstra, Timotheus van Nesselrooij, Marjan Kromkamp, Monica Pop-Purceleanu, Paul J. T. Rood, Robert Jan Osse, Carol Chan, Alasdair MacLullich, Zoe Tieges, Karin Neufeld, Suzanne Hut

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The reference standard in studies on delirium assessment tools is usually based on the clinical judgement of only one delirium expert, and may be concise, unstandardized, or not specified at all. This multicenter study investigated the performance of the Delirium Interview, a new reference standard for studies on delirium assessment tools, allowing classification of delirium based on written reports.

We tested the diagnostic accuracy of our standardized Delirium Interview by comparing delirium assessments of the reported results with live assessments. Our reference, the live assessment, was performed by two delirium experts and one well-trained researcher who registered the results. Their delirium assessment was compared with the majority vote of three other independent delirium experts who judged the rapportage of the Delirium Interview. Our total pool consisted of 13 delirium experts with an average of 13±8 years of experience.

We included 98 patients (62% male, mean age 69±12 years), of whom 56 (57%) Intensive Care Units (ICU) patients, 22 (39%) patients with a Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale (RASS)
The Delirium Interview is a feasible reference method for large study cohorts evaluating delirium assessment tools since experts could assess delirium with high accuracy without seeing the patient at the bedside.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Jan 2023


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