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Prognostication in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in Adults #239

Fast Facts and Concepts
Screening for Intensive Care Unit Delirium #160
Richard Altman, M.D., Eric Milbrandt, M.D., M.P.H., and Robert Arnold, M.D.
Delirium is an acute, fluctuating change in mental status,
accompanied by sleep/wake cycle disruption, inatten-
tion, and altered perceptions (hallucinations/delusions; see
Fast Facts #1, 60). Delirium can be hypoactive or hyperactive.
Patients with hypoactive delirium are calm, but inattentive
and manifest decreased mobility. Patients with hyperactive
delirium are agitatedand combative, and also lack the ability to
maintain attention to complete tasks. Delirium can be consid-
ered a marker of acute brain dysfunction, much like shock is
evidence for dysfunction of the cardiovascular system.
ICU Delirium
Delirium occurring in the intensive care unit (ICU) is as-
sociated with an increased length of hospitalization, increased
need for institutionalization, and higher short- and long-term
In the ICU, delirium occurs in as many as 80% of
patients, but is often overlooked or misdiagnosed because of
the difficulty of assessing mental states in intubated patients.
Three assessment tools have been described in the literature to
aid in delirium diagnosis.
1. The Confusion Assessment Method-Intensive Care
Unit (CAM-ICU) Assessment Tool is the best docu-
mented method of diagnosing delirium in the ICU.
This tool was specifically designed for use in nonverbal
(i.e., mechanically ventilated) patients. With the CAM-
ICU, delirium is diagnosed when patients demonstrate
(1) an acute change in mental status or fluctuating
changes in mental status, (2) inattention measured
using either an auditory or visual test, and either (3)
disorganized thinking, or (4) an altered level of con-
sciousness. Importantly, the CAM-ICU can only be
administered if the patient is arousable to voice with-
out the need for physical stimulation. The CAM-ICU
includes very specific assessment questions/tools,
found online at
When administered by a nurse, the CAM-ICU takes only
1 to 2 minutes to conduct and has a minimum of 93%
sensitivity and 89% specificity for detecting delirium as
compared to full DSM-IV assessment by a geriatric
National guidelines recommend routine
use of the CAM-ICU for delirium assessment in all crit-
ically ill patients and treatment with haloperidol when
delirium is present.
However, these recommendations
are based on expert opinion and limited case series. It
remains unknown whether diagnosis and/or treatment
of delirium will lead to better patient outcomes. While
there are some early observational cohort data suggest-
ing that patients treated with haloperidol have lower
hospital mortality, this finding needs confirmation in a
randomized, controlled trial before being applied to
routine patient care.
2. The Intensive Care Delirium Screening Checklist
assesses eight features of delirium: altered level of
consciousness, inattention, disorientation, hallucina-
tions, psychomotor agitation/retardation, inappropri-
ate mood/speech, sleep/wake cycle disturbance, and
symptom fluctuation. The sensitivity and specificity of
this tool were 99% and 64%, respectively, in one report.
3. The Delirium Screening Checklist is another recent
tool that uses a checklist similar to the Intensive Care
Delirium Screening Checklist.
It is believed that prompt recognition and treatment of ICU
delirium is important for patient safety. Use of rapid tools
such as CAM-ICU can help identify ICU delirium and are
recommended when assessing mental status changes. The
benefit of routine use of these screening tools is yet to be
Fast Facts and Concepts are edited by Drew A. Rosielle M.D., Palliative Care Program, University of Minnesota Medical Center–Fairview
Health Services, and are published by the End of Life/Palliative Education Resource Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. For more
information write to: More information, as well as the complete set of Fast Facts, are available at EPERC:
Version History: This Fast Fact was originally edited by David E. Weissman, M.D. and published in August 2006. Current version re-copy–
edited in April 2009.
Copyright/Referencing Information: Users are free to download and distribute Fast Facts for educational purposes only. Available at:
Disclaimer: Fast Facts and Concepts provide educational information. This information is not medical advice. Health care providers should
exercise their own independent clinical judgment. Some Fast Facts cite the use of a product in a dosage, for an indication, or in a manner other
than that recommended in the product labeling. Accordingly, the official prescribing information should be consulted before any such
product is used.
Volume 14, Number 6, 2011
ªMary Ann Liebert, Inc.
DOI: 10.1089/jpm.2011.9683
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1. Ely EW, Siegel MD, Inouye SK: Delirium in the intensive care
unit: An under-recognized syndrome of organ dysfunction.
Semin Respir Crit Care Med 2001;22:115–126.
2. Ely EW, Inouye SK, Bernard GR, Gordon S, Francis J, May L,
Truman B, Speroff T, Gautam S, Margolin R, Hart RP, Dittus
R: Delirium in mechanically ventilated patients: Validity and
reliability of the Confusion Assessment Method for the In-
tensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU). JAMA 2001;286:2703–2710.
3. Ely EW, Truman B: The Confusion Assessment Method for
the ICU (CAM-ICU) Training Manual.
(Last accessed April 27, 2009).
4. Ely EW, Margolin R, Francis J, May L, Truman B, Dittus R,
Speroff T, Gautam S, Bernard GR, Inouye SK: Evaluation of
delirium in critically ill patients: Validation of the Confusion
Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU).
Crit Care Med 2001;29:1370–1379.
5. Jacobi J, Fraser GL, Coursin DB, Riker RR, Fontaine D,
Wittbrodt ET, Chalfin DB, Masica MF, Bjerke HS, Coplin
WM, Crippen DW, Fuchs BD, Kelleher RM, Marik PE,
Nasraway SA Jr, Murray MJ, Peruzzi WT, Lumb PD; Task
Force of the American College of Critical Care Medicine
(ACCM) of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM),
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP),
American College of Chest Physicians: Clinical practice
guidelines for the sustained use of sedatives and analgesics in
the critically ill adult. Crit Care Med 2002;30:119–141.
6. Bergeron N, Dubois MJ, Dumont M, Dial S, Skrobik Y: In-
tensive Care Delirium Screening Checklist: Evaluation of a
new screening tool. Intensive Care Med 2001;27:859–864
7. Otter H, Martin J, Basell K, von Heymann C, Hein OV, Bo
P, Ja
¨nsch P, Behnisch I, Wernecke KD, Konertz W, Loening S,
Blohmer JU, Spies C: Validity and reliability of the DDS for
severity of delirium in the ICU. Neurocrit Care 2005;2:150–
Address correspondence to:
Robert M. Arnold, M.D.
Division of General Internal Medicine
University of Pittsburgh
200 N Lothrop
MUH 932
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
DOI: 10.1089/jpm.2011.9682
Prognostication in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
in Adults #239
Stacy M. Kessler, M.D. and Keith M. Swetz, M.D.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as brain injury
caused by an external force, most commonly falls, struck
by/against events, motor vehicle collisions, and assaults. The
vast majority of patients with mild to moderate TBIs have
substantial recoveries; this is not true of severe TBIs. This Fast
Fact discusses prognostication in severe TBI in adults.
Initial TBI Severity
TBI severity is most commonly graded by the initial Glas-
gow Coma Scale (GCS) score. The GCS rates the patient’s best
verbal response, best motor response and the stimulus needed
to elicit eye opening. Scores range from 3–15, with score of 8 or
less representing coma. ‘‘Mild’’ TBI (accounting for approxi-
mately 80% of cases) is manifest by a 30-minute postinjury
GCS of 13–15. ‘‘Moderate’’ TBI consists of immediately altered
or loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes and 6-hour
postinjury GCS of 9–12. ‘‘Severe TBI’’ involves immediate loss
of consciousness for more than 6 hours with residual GCS of
Long-Term Outcomes
The Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) is a five-point scale used
widely in brain injury research. An eight-point Extended
Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS-E) is available with more sen-
sitivity to change in function, but most outcome studies have
referenced only the GOS. The GOS range is (1) death, (2) per-
sistent vegetative state (unconscious and unable to interact), (3)
severe disability (conscious; cannot live independently; re-
quires daily assistance due to physical or mental impairment),
(4) moderate disability (able to live independently; able to work
in a supported environment), and (5) good recovery (minimal
or no deficits; able to work and socialize normally). In addition
to global functional impairments, survivors of severe TBIs of-
ten have impairments in memory, executive functioning, im-
pulse control, sensory processing, and communication skills.
Mental health problems are common.
Predicting Outcomes
Overall 30-day mortality following TBI is estimated to be
20% with the highest mortality corresponding to the worst
JPM-2011-9683-Fast Facts And Concepts_1P.3d 05/03/11 2:00pm Page 2
initial GCS scores. For patients with reliable initial GCS scores
of 3–5, only 20% will survive and less half of those survi-
vors will have what is often referred to in the research liter-
ature as a ‘‘good outcome’’ (GOS 4–5). Older age, lower initial
GCS score, abnormal initial pupil reactivity, longer length of
coma and duration of posttraumatic amnesia, and certain
computed tomography findings all indicate a smaller chance
of recovery to GOS 4–5. Kothrari proposed the following
prognostic guidelines, based on a comprehensive review of
studies that looked at outcome in adults 6 months or later after
severe TBI:
Favorable outcome (GOS 4–5) likely when the time to
follow commands is less than 2 weeks after injury, and
the duration of posttraumatic amnesia is less than 2
Poor outcome (GOS <4) is likely when the patient is
over 65 years old, the time to follow commands is longer
than 1 month, or the duration of posttraumatic amnesia
is greater than 3 months.
Notably, 10% of patients will not have the outcome
predicted by the guidelines above.
A recent multinational collaborative trial developed a
prognostic model to predict outcomes in TBI. The model uses
age, GCS, pupil reactivity, presence of major extracranial in-
jury, and (optional) computed tomography findings to give
rates of death at 14 days postinjury and GOS at 6 months for
survivors. An online calculator is available.
Helping Families Make Decisions
Families of patients with severe TBIs may be confronted
with decisions about medical care (e.g., gastrostomy tube
placement, chronic ventilatory support, dialysis). Such deci-
sions often depend on a family’s understanding of a patient’s
long-term functional outcome. The abovementioned prog-
nostic indicators can help clinicians provide objective infor-
mation for families about the likelihood of recovery after a
TBI. As with all prognostic tools, however, clinicians can only
predict what would happen to a population of patients with a
similar injury (e.g., ‘‘only 10% of patients would recover such
that they could live independently’’); this is different from
predicting any particular patient’s course. It is important to
communicate the uncertainty that accompanies most prog-
nostic estimations. Counseling families about long-term
functional prognosis, as well as the expected treatment course
(what rehabilitation would involve) is important. While the
research literature often defines a ‘‘good recovery’’ as GOS
4–5, that may not constitute a ‘‘good’’ recovery for an indi-
vidual patient. Clinicians should avoid such language at the
bedside and instead use detailed descriptive language of ex-
pected functional and cognitive outcomes. Early and frequent
family meetings can facilitate communication, built rapport,
and are vital in expectation setting and establishing goals of
care. If life-sustaining treatments are initiated, framing the
treatments in the context of time-limited trials is helpful. This
empowers family members to discontinue certain cares after a
specified period of time if the prognosis remains unchanged
or if the treatment is not meeting the goals of care (e.g.,
helping to restore a patient to a functional status which is
acceptable to the patient). Interdisciplinary team members
including speech, occupational, and physical therapists,
physiatrists, neurologists, palliative care clinicians, and neu-
rosurgeons can be important in letting family members more
fully understand a patient’s likely future. See Fast Fact #226
about helping surrogates make decisions.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Get the stats on
TBI in the United States.
factsheets_reports.html (Last accessed November 3, 2010).
2. Carroll LJ, Cassidy JD, Peloso PM, Borg J, von Holst H,
Holm L, Paniak C, Pe
´pin M; WHO Collaborating Centre
Task Force on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Prognosis for
mild traumatic brain injury: Results of the WHO Collabor-
ating Centre Task Force on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. J
Rehabil Med. 2004;43(suppl):S84-S105.
3. Serio CD, Kreutzer JS, Witol AD. Family needs after trau-
matic brain injury: A factor analytic study of the Family
Needs Questionnaire. Brain Injury 1997;11:1–9.
4. Kolakowsky-Hayner SA, Miner KD, Kretuzer JS: Long-term
life quality and family needs after traumatic brain injury. J
Head Trauma Rehabil 2001;16:374–385.
5. Cifu DX, Kreutzer JS, Slater DN, Taylor L: Rehabilitation
after Traumatic Brain Injury. In: Braddom RL, Buschba-
cherRM,ChanL,etal.(eds):Physical Medicine and Re-
habilitation. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier, 2007, pp.
6. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Traumatic brain injury: Hope through research. Bethesda
(MD): National Institutes of Health; 2002. NIH Publication
No. 02-158.
.htm (Last accessed November 3, 2010).
7. Brown AW, Elovic EP, Kothari S, Flanagan SR, Kwasnica C:
Congenital and acquired brain injury. 1. Epidemiology,
pathophysiology, prognostication, innovative treatments,
and prevention. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2008;89(suppl):
8. Kothari S: Prognosis after severe TBI: A practical, evidence-
based approach. In: Zasler ND, Katz DI, Zafonte RD (eds):
Brain Injury Medicine: Principles and Practice. New York:
Demos, 2007, pp. 169–199
9. MRC CRASH Trial Collaborators, Perel P, Arango M,
Clayton T, Edwards P, Komolafe E, Poccock S, Roberts I,
Shakur H, Steyerberg E, Yutthakasemsunt S: Predicting
outcome after traumatic brain injury: Practical prognostic
models based on large cohort of international patients. BMJ
10. Prognostic model for predicting outcome after traumatic
brain injury (online calculator). MRC Crash Trial website.
(Last accessed January 5, 2011).
11. Brain Trauma Foundation-American Association of Neuro-
logical Surgeons-Joint Section on Neurotrauma and Critical
care: Early indicators of prognosis in severe traumatic brain
injury. J Neurotrauma 2000;17:449–627.
Address correspondence to: bAU1
Keith Swetz, M.D.
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN
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AU1: Provide complete mailing address.
JPM-2011-9683-Fast Facts And Concepts_1P.3d 05/03/11 2:00pm Page 5
... Acute respiratory failure was defined as a condition of respiratory failure requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation for more than 24 hours, regardless of the fraction of inspired oxygen [20]. Coma was defined as a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 3 to 8 [21]. ...
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Introduction: Many cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in Taiwan are due to burning charcoal. Nevertheless, few reports have analyzed the mortality rate of these patients who survive to reach a hospital and die despite intensive treatment. Therefore, this study examined the clinical features, physiological markers, and outcomes after carbon monoxide poisoning and the associations between these findings. Methods: We analyzed the records of 261 patients who were referred for management of carbon monoxide intoxication between 2000 and 2010. Patients were grouped according to status at discharge as alive (survivor, n = 242) or dead (non-survivor, n = 19). Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and mortality data were obtained for analysis. Results: Approximately half of the cases (49.4%) attempted suicide by burning charcoal. Most of the patients were middle-aged adults (33±19 years), and were referred to our hospital in a relatively short period of time (6±10 hours). Carbon monoxide produced many serious complications after exposure: fever (26.1%), hypothermia (9.6%), respiratory failure (34.1%), shock (8.4%), myocardial infarction (8.0%), gastrointestinal upset (34.9%), hepatitis (18.4%), renal failure (25.3%), coma (18.0%) and rhabdomyolysis (21.8%). Furthermore, the non-survivors suffered greater incidences of hypothermia (P<0.001), respiratory failure (P<0.001), shock (P<0.001), hepatitis ((P=0.016), renal failure (P=0.003), coma (P<0.001) than survivors. All patients were treated with high concentration of oxygen therapy using non-rebreather mask. However, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was only used in 18.8% of the patients. In a multivariate-Cox-regression model, it was revealed that shock status was a significant predictor for mortality after carbon monoxide poisoning (OR 8.696, 95% CI 2.053-37.370, P=0.003). Finally, Kaplan-Meier analysis confirmed that patients with shock suffered greater cumulative mortality than without shock (Log-rank test, Chi-square 147.404, P<0.001). Conclusion: The mortality rate for medically treated carbon monoxide-poisoned patients at our center was 7.3%. Furthermore, the analysis indicates that shock was most strongly associated with higher risk of mortality.
Full-text available
Delirium in the intensive care unit is poorly defined. Clinical evaluation is difficult in the setting of unstable, often intubated patients. A screening tool may improve the detection of delirium. We created a screening checklist of eight items based on DSM criteria and features of delirium: altered level of consciousness, inattention, disorientation, hallucination or delusion, psychomotor agitation or retardation, inappropriate mood or speech, sleep/wake cycle disturbance, and symptom fluctuation. During 3 months, all patients admitted to a busy medical/surgical intensive care unit were evaluated, and the scale score was compared to a psychiatric evaluation. In 93 patients studied, 15 developed delirium. Fourteen (93%) of them had a score of 4 points or more. This score was also present in 15 (19%) of patients without delirium, 14 of whom had a known psychiatric illness, dementia, a structural neurological abnormality or encephalopathy. A ROC analysis was used to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the screening tool. The area under the ROC curve is 0.9017. Predicted sensitivity is 99% and specificity is 64%. This study suggests that the Intensive Care Delirium Screening Checklist can easily be applied by a clinician or a nurse in a busy critical care setting to screen all patients even when communication is compromised. The tool can be utilized quickly and helps to identify delirious patients. Earlier diagnosis may lead to earlier intervention and better patient care.
Full-text available
Delirium is a common problem in the intensive care unit (ICU). Accurate diagnosis is limited by the difficulty of communicating with mechanically ventilated patients and by lack of a validated delirium instrument for use in the ICU. To validate a delirium assessment instrument that uses standardized nonverbal assessments for mechanically ventilated patients and to determine the occurrence rate of delirium in such patients. Prospective cohort study testing the Confusion Assessment Method for ICU Patients (CAM-ICU) in the adult medical and coronary ICUs of a US university-based medical center. A total of 111 consecutive patients who were mechanically ventilated were enrolled from February 1, 2000, to July 15, 2000, of whom 96 (86.5%) were evaluable for the development of delirium and 15 (13.5%) were excluded because they remained comatose throughout the investigation. Occurrence rate of delirium and sensitivity, specificity, and interrater reliability of delirium assessments using the CAM-ICU, made daily by 2 critical care study nurses, compared with assessments by delirium experts using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria. A total of 471 daily paired evaluations were completed. Compared with the reference standard for diagnosing delirium, 2 study nurses using the CAM-ICU had sensitivities of 100% and 93%, specificities of 98% and 100%, and high interrater reliability (kappa = 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.92-0.99). Interrater reliability measures across subgroup comparisons showed kappa values of 0.92 for those aged 65 years or older, 0.99 for those with suspected dementia, or 0.94 for those with Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores at or above the median value of 23 (all P<.001). Comparing sensitivity and specificity between patient subgroups according to age, suspected dementia, or severity of illness showed no significant differences. The mean (SD) CAM-ICU administration time was 2 (1) minutes. Reference standard diagnoses of delirium, stupor, and coma occurred in 25.2%, 21.3%, and 28.5% of all observations, respectively. Delirium occurred in 80 (83.3%) patients during their ICU stay for a mean (SD) of 2.4 (1.6) days. Delirium was even present in 39.5% of alert or easily aroused patient observations by the reference standard and persisted in 10.4% of patients at hospital discharge. Delirium, a complication not currently monitored in the ICU setting, is extremely common in mechanically ventilated patients. The CAM-ICU appears to be rapid, valid, and reliable for diagnosing delirium in the ICU setting and may be a useful instrument for both clinical and research purposes.
Full-text available
We searched the literature on the epidemiology, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and costs of mild traumatic brain injury. Of 428 studies related to prognosis after mild traumatic brain injury, 120 (28%) were accepted after critical review. These comprise our best-evidence synthesis on prognosis after mild traumatic brain injury. There was consistent and methodologically sound evidence that children's prognosis after mild traumatic brain injury is good, with quick resolution of symptoms and little evidence of residual cognitive, behavioural or academic deficits. For adults, cognitive deficits and symptoms are common in the acute stage, and the majority of studies report recovery for most within 3-12 months. Where symptoms persist, compensation/litigation is a factor, but there is little consistent evidence for other predictors. The literature on this area is of varying quality and causal inferences are often mistakenly drawn from cross-sectional studies.
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The intensivist should think of delirium, or acute central nervous system dysfunction, as the brain's form of "organ dysfunction.'' Delirium is extremely common in intensive care unit (ICU) patients due to factors such as comorbidity, critical illness, and iatrogenesis. This complication of hospital stay is extremely hazardous in older persons and is associated with prolonged hospital stays, institutionalization, and death. Neurologic dysfunction compromises patients' ability to be removed from mechanical ventilation or achieve full recovery and independence. Yet ICU nurses and physicians are usually unaware of the presence of hypoactive delirium and only recognize this disturbance in agitated patients (hyperactive delirium). More importantly, there are few studies that have included ICU patients in the assessment or prevention of delirium. This article reviews the definition and salient features of delirium, its primary risk factors, a newly validated instrument for delirium assessment that is being developed for ICU nurses and physicians, and pharmacological agents associated with the development of delirium and used in its management.
Clinical and political responses to the worldwide epidemic of traumatic brain injury (TBI) need to recognize that the quality of outcome depends on both phases of treatment: acute care and rehabilitation. The growing scientific evidence for neural repair and regeneration has supported growing interest about what rehabilitation can offer to restore function and independence to disabled individuals. Clinicians who treat acutely head-injured patients should develop some understanding of the reality and potential of rehabilitation, to put their own work into perspective. This article reviews the common problems that follow TBI, unpacks the rehabilitation box to see what can be done about them, and considers the scientific evidence for the efficacy of the rehabilitation process.
The present investigation examined the empirical and theoretical validity of an instrument developed to assess family members' perceptions of needs following the brain injury of a relative. The Family Needs Questionnaire (FNQ) consists of 40 items reflecting commonly reported family needs. The development of the items was based on the literature describing family reactions to brain injury and other medical disabilities. A principal-components factor analysis was executed based on the FNQ responses of 178 family members. A six-factor solution was selection as the best fit for the data, yielding the following independent subscales: (1) Need for Health Information; (2) Need for Emotional Support; (3) Need for Instrumental Support; (4) Need for Professional Support; (5) Need for a Support Network; and (6) Need for Involvement with Care. Further analysis indicated at least adequate internal reliability for each scale. Overall, the measure appears to offer unique information relevant to family members' needs after brain injury.
To develop and validate an instrument for use in the intensive care unit to accurately diagnose delirium in critically ill patients who are often nonverbal because of mechanical ventilation. Prospective cohort study. The adult medical and coronary intensive care units of a tertiary care, university-based medical center. Thirty-eight patients admitted to the intensive care units. We designed and tested a modified version of the Confusion Assessment Method for use in intensive care unit patients and called it the CAM-ICU. Daily ratings from intensive care unit admission to hospital discharge by two study nurses and an intensivist who used the CAM-ICU were compared against the reference standard, a delirium expert who used delirium criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition). A total of 293 daily, paired evaluations were completed, with reference standard diagnoses of delirium in 42% and coma in 27% of all observations. To include only interactive patient evaluations and avoid repeat-observer bias for patients studied on multiple days, we used only the first-alert or lethargic comparison evaluation in each patient. Thirty-three of 38 patients (87%) developed delirium during their intensive care unit stay, mean duration of 4.2 +/- 1.7 days. Excluding evaluations of comatose patients because of lack of characteristic delirium features, the two critical care study nurses and intensivist demonstrated high interrater reliability for their CAM-ICU ratings with kappa statistics of 0.84, 0.79, and 0.95, respectively (p <.001). The two nurses' and intensivist's sensitivities when using the CAM-ICU compared with the reference standard were 95%, 96%, and 100%, respectively, whereas their specificities were 93%, 93%, and 89%, respectively. The CAM-ICU demonstrated excellent reliability and validity when used by nurses and physicians to identify delirium in intensive care unit patients. The CAM-ICU may be a useful instrument for both clinical and research purposes to monitor delirium in this challenging patient population.
This investigation assessed the life quality and long-term family needs of caregivers of persons with brain injury. Respondents completed the Virginia Traumatic Brain Injury Family Needs Assessment Survey. Community-based sample. Respondents included 57 caregivers of persons with traumatic brain injury who were at least 4 years after injury and who resided in Virginia. Respondents ranged in age from 19 to 82 years and were primarily women and Caucasian. The Family Needs Questionnaire (FNQ) and quality of life questions. Results indicate diminished life quality after injury. With regard to family needs, Health Information (51.43%) and Involvement with Care (47.93%) needs were most often rated as met. Instrumental Support (31.52%) and Professional Support (28.38%) needs were most often rated as not met. Family needs and support systems for those needs change over time. This investigation provides evidence that unmet family needs extend well beyond the acute setting and that caregiver life quality diminishes over time. The importance of appreciating long-term family needs and other life quality issues should not be underestimated.