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Multidimensional Assessment of Acute Confusion After Traumatic Brain Injury

      Abstract

      Sherer M, Nakase-Thompson R, Yablon SA, Gontkovsky ST. Multidimensional assessment of acute confusion after traumatic brain injury.

      Objectives

      To describe the phenomenology of posttraumatic confusional state (PTCS) and to provide preliminary validation of a new procedure, the Confusion Assessment Protocol (CAP), for assessing PTCS.

      Design

      Criterion standard investigation.

      Setting

      Inpatient traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation program.

      Participants

      Two consecutive series of patients (n=62, n=93) with TBI admitted for inpatient rehabilitation.

      Interventions

      Not applicable.

      Main outcome measures

      Clinical diagnosis of delirium based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) criteria, classification of posttraumatic amnesia (PTA) based on the Galveston Orientation and Amnesia Test (GOAT), and Disability Rating Scale score at time of rehabilitation hospital discharge.

      Results

      Agreement between the diagnosis of PTCS with the CAP and DSM-IV classification of delirium was 87%, and agreement between PTCS and PTA using GOAT criteria was 90%. Patients classified as in PTCS sustained more severe injuries and required longer rehabilitation stays. Confusion status was associated with poorer functional status at rehabilitation discharge.

      Conclusions

      The CAP is a brief, structured, repeatable measure of multiple neurobehavioral aspects of PTCS. Confusion status as determined by CAP assessment contributed to prediction of outcome at rehabilitation discharge after adjustment for other potential predictors.

      Key words

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