The predictive value of confusion assessment method-intensive care unit and intensive care delirium screening checklist for delirium in critically ill patients in the intensive care unit: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Nurs Crit Care. 2024 Mar 27. doi: 10.1111/nicc.13064. Online ahead of print.


Background: Approximately 16%-89% of patients developed delirium during hospitalization in the intensive care unit (ICU). Studies on the accuracy and clinical application of ICU delirium screening tools exist, but the results are inconsistent. Moreover, the accuracy of different screening tools varied greatly.

Aim: To compare the diagnostic accuracy of Confusion Assessment Method-Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU) and Intensive Care Delirium Screening Checklist (ICDSC) for delirium screening in critically ill patients in the ICU.

Study design: We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, and SciELO databases for relevant studies by combining relevant medical subject headings (MeSH) and keywords. Each database was searched from its creation to 30 January 2024. The included literature was screened by title, abstract, and full text. The diagnostic studies were summarized using Stata 14.0 software. SEN, SPE, PLR, NLR, DOR, and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the diagnostic studies were combined, the SROC analysis was performed, and the area under curve was estimated.

Results: Thirty-two articles from the database met the inclusion criteria. The number of studies on CAM-ICU and ICDSC was 28 and 14, respectively. For CAM-ICU, the pooled sensitivity and specificity were 0.81 (95% CI: 0.81-0.81) and 0.94 (95% CI: 0.94-0.94), and the hierarchical SROC curve was 0.96 (95% CI: 0.93-0.97). Regarding the ICDSC, The pooled sensitivity and specificity were 0.79 (95% CI: 0.68-0.86) and 0.90 (95% CI: 0.84-0.93), and the hierarchical SROC curve was 0.92 (95% CI: 0.89-0.94). Regarding the likelihood ratio, the CAM-ICU has a high PLR of 14.24 (95% CI: 14.24-14.24) and a low NLR of 0.20 (95% CI: 0.20-0.20). The ICDSC has a low PLR of 7.64 (95% CI: 5.37-10.87) and a high NLR of 0.24 (95% CI: 0.16-0.35).

Conclusions: CAM-ICU showed good performance in terms of screening and diagnostic efficacies for delirium in critically ill patients. In view of the diagnostic accuracy of these two tools in delirium assessment, the strategies on how to increase their implementation in delirium screening among ICU patients are the focus of future research.

Relevance for clinical practice: CAM-ICU is recommended as the first choice to evaluate delirium in clinical practice, followed by ICDSC. Future studies can explore the predictive value of CAM-ICU and ICDSC in different special populations and different types of delirium.

Keywords: CAM‐ICU; ICDSC; ICU; critically; delirium.

Publication types

  • Review