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Development and validation of a delirium risk assessment score. Predisposing risk factors for delirium were used, which are easily assessed at hospital admission without additional clinical or laboratory testing. A systematic literature search identified ten risk factors: acute admission, alcohol use > 4 units/day, cognitive impairment, ADL impairment, age > 75 years, earlier delirium, hearing/vision problems, number of medication ≥ 5, number of morbidities > 2 and male. The DRAS was developed in a mixed patient population (N = 842) by the use of univariate and multivariate analyses and -2 log-likelihood calculation to weigh the risk factors. Based on the sensitivity and specificity, a cutoff score was calculated. The validation was performed in 3 cohorts (N = 408, N = 186, N = 365). In cohort 3, the DRAS was compared (AUC, sensitivity and specificity) to 3 instruments (Inouye, Kalisvaart, VMS rules). The delirium incidence was 31.8%, 20.3%, 15.6% and 15.1%. All risk factors were independently predictive for delirium, except male. The multivariate analyses excluded morbidities. The final DRAS consists of 8 items; acute admission, cognitive impairment, alcohol use (3 points), ADLimpairment/mobilityproblems (2 points), higher age, earlier delirium, hearing/vision problems, and medication (1 point). The total score is 15 points and at a cut-of score of 5 or higher the patient is at risk of developing a delirium. The cutoff was at 5 or more points, AUC: 0.76 (95% CI 0.72-0.79), sensitivity 0.77, specificity 0.60. Validation cohorts AUC was 0.75 (95% CI 0.96-0.81), 0.76 (95% CI 0.70-0.83) and 0.78 (95% CI 0.70-0.87), sensitivity 0.71, 0.67 and 0.89 and specificity 0.70, 0.72 and 0.60. The comparison revealed the highest AUC for the DRAS. Based on an admission interview, the delirium risk can be easily evaluated using the DRAS shortlist score of predisposing risk factors for delirium in older inpatients.


Ralph Vreeswijk, Imke Kalisvaart, Andrea B Maier, Kees J Kalisvaart. Development and validation of the delirium risk assessment score (DRAS). European geriatric medicine. 2020 Apr;11(2):307-314

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PMID: 32297197

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