Comparison of delirium screening instruments for the elderly

Young Whee Lee, Sung Ok Chang, Eun Suk Kong, Nam Cho Kim, Chun Gill Kim, Hee Kyung Kim, Misoon Song, Soo Yeon Ahn, Myung Ok Cho, Kyung Sook Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study was undertaken to identify which delirium screening instrument would be more useful in clinical practice. Methods: Data were collected from 118 nurses from six hospitals in five provinces in Korea. For the delirium screening three instruments were compared: NEECHAM Confusion Scale (NEECHAM), Nursing Delirium Screening Scale (Nu-DESC), Delirium Observation Scale (DOS). The MMSE-K was used for concurrent validity. The nurse subjects were surveyed as to the practical clinical value of each instrument. Cronbach's α coefficient and Kuder-Richardson 20 were used to confirm the reliability. Results: The range of three scales reliability was .70~.82 and the range of correlation coefficient was .63~.82 with MMSE-K. For sensitivity of NEECHAM, Nu-DESC and DOS was 1.00, 1.00 and 0.81 respectively and specificity NEECHAM, Nu-DESC and DOS was 0.88, 0.89 and 0.89 respectively. Nurses rated the practical use of the DOS scale as significantly easier to use than the NEECHAM and Nu-DESC. Conclusion: NEECHAM, Nu-DESC and DOS scales were acceptable in terms of reliability, validity, sensitivity and specificity. However, nurses rated the DOS scale as easier scale to use and had more relevance to their practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-664
Number of pages10
JournalKorean Journal of Adult Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been partially supported by the DGICYT, Spain (Project, PB98-0368-C02) and the Junta de Castilla-León (Grant VA 70/99). R.R. acknowledges an FPI grant from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture. A.V. acknowledges financial support from the University of Nantes.


  • Aged
  • Delirium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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