Participate in a Study On Recognizing Delirium Using Video-Monitoring

So I got this very intriguing email about a invitation to participate in a delirium study on diagnosing delirium using a method involving video monitoring and wrist actigraphy in the intensive care unit (ICU). The announcement came from the European Delirium Association (EDA) and sprang from a poster presentation at the recent EDA conference in Leuven, Belgium.

If you’re a clinician or researcher, you can register to participate in the study and the authors will send videos of ICU patients which have been de-identified so that participants can decide whether the movements of the patients are indicative of delirium. I think the questionnaire (for clinicians only) is easy to complete.

This is very interesting and I’m still considering whether I’d like to participate. i found just a few papers about it below in the list of references.

I think one of the saddest spectacles anyone can witness is someone in the throes of delirium. It’s vitally important that we keep working to understand the biology and the clinical features of delirium. It’s also important to continue working toward changing the culture of medicine so that everyone views it as a medical emergency and that we work together to prevent it.


Osse, R. J., et al. (2009). “Screening methods for delirium: early diagnosis by means of objective quantification of motor activity patterns using wrist-actigraphy.” Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 8(3): 344-348; discussion 348.
Delirium after cardiac surgery is a risk factor for adverse outcome and even death. Disturbance of motor activity is a core feature of delirium, but hypoactive delirium often remains unrecognized. We explored wrist-actigraphy as a tool to objectively quantify postoperative recovery of 24-h rest-activity patterns to improve the early recognition of delirium after surgery. Motor activity was recorded by wrist-actigraphy after cardiac surgery in 88 patients over 65 years of age. Patients were assessed daily by using the CAM-ICU. Our final analyses were based on 32 non-delirious patients and 38 patients who were delirious on the first day after surgery. The delirious patients showed lower mean activity levels during the first postoperative night (P<0.05), reduced restlessness during the first day (P<0.05), and a lower mean activity of the 5 h with lowest activity within the first 24 h (P=0.01), as compared to the non-delirious patients. Already at a very early stage after cardiac surgery, a difference in motor activity was observed between patients with and without a delirium. As an unobtrusive method, actigraphy has the potential to be a screening method that may lead to early diagnosis and treatment of delirium.

Hourmand-Ollivier, I., et al. (2006). “Actigraphy: A new diagnostic tool for hepatic encephalopathy.” World J Gastroenterol 12(14): 2243-2244.
AIM: To assess the actigraphy, an ambulatory and continuous monitoring of wrist motor activity fitted to study sleep/wake patterns in hepatic encephalopathy (HE). METHODS: Twenty-five cirrhotic patients (17 M, 8 F, mean age 56+/-11 years, 24/25 alcoholic, Child-Pugh A , B, C: 2, 6, 17) were included. The patients were classified into 3 groups: stage 0 group (n = 12), stage 1-2 group (n = 6), and stage 3-4 group (n = 7) of encephalopathy. Over three consecutive days, patients had clinical evaluation 3 times a day with psychometric test, venous ammoniemia, flash visually evoked potentials (VEP), electroencephalogram and continuous actigraphic monitoring for 3 d, providing 5 parameters: mesor, amplitude, acrophase, mean duration of activity (MDAI) and inactivity (MDII) intervals. RESULTS: Serum ammonia and VEP did not differ among the 3 groups. Electroencephalography mean dominant frequency (MDF) correlated significantly with clinical stages of HE (r = 0.65, P = 0.003). The best correlation with HE stage was provided by actigraphy especially with MDAI (r = 0.7, P < 10(-4)) and mesor (r = 0.65, P < 10(-4)). MDAI correlated significantly with MDF (r = 0.62, 0.004) and was significantly shorter in case of HE compared to patients without HE (stage 0: 5.33+/-1.6 min; stage 1-2: 3.28+/-1.4 min; stage 3-4: 2.52+/-1.1 min; P < 0.05). Using a threshold of MDAI of less than 4.9 min, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value for HE diagnosis were 85%, 67%, 73% and 80%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Actigraphy may be an objective method to identify HE, especially for early HE detection. Motor activity at the wrist correlates well with clinical stages of HE. MDAI and mesor are the most relevant parameters.

Osse, R. J., et al. (2009). “Disturbed circadian motor activity patterns in postcardiotomy delirium.” Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 63(1): 56-64.
AIMS: More than 20% of patients of 65 years or older may develop a delirium after cardiac surgery. Patients with delirium frequently show a disturbed 24-hr motor activity pattern, but objective and quantitative data are scarce. Our aim was to quantify motor activity patterns in elderly patients with or without a postcardiotomy delirium after elective cardiac surgery. METHODS: Wrist-actigraphy was used to quantify 24-hr motor activity patterns for a 5-day period following cardiac surgery in 79 patients of 65 years or older. Clinical state was monitored daily by means of the Confusion Assessment Method-Intensive Care Unit and the Delirium Rating Scale-Revised 98. RESULTS: The activity Amplitude, and the daytime Activity/minute and Restlessness index were significantly higher and the daytime number of Immobility minutes significantly lower for the patients without delirium or with short delirium episodes, as compared to patients with a sustained delirium (>3 days). CONCLUSIONS: Actigraphy proves to be a valuable instrument for evaluating motor activity patterns in relation to clinical state in patients with a postcardiotomy delirium.



  1. I just registered to participate in this study!


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