Confusion Assessment Method

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The Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) was originally developed in 1988 to improve the identification and recognition of delirium. The CAM was intended to provide a new standardized method to enable non-psychiatrically trained clinicians to identify delirium quickly and accurately in both clinical and research settings. Since its development, the CAM has become the most widely used delirium detection instrument world-wide, due to its strong validation results as well as its ease of use.

The CAM instrument has been used in over 5,000 original articles to date, as either a process or outcome measure, and has been translated into over 14 languages.

Dr. Sharon Inouye and colleagues have developed a series of CAM-related instruments for the recognition and diagnosis of delirium. The instruments and their training manuals are available for free after a brief one-time registration.

  • Confusion Assessment Method (Short CAM)This 4-item tool is the most widely used tool worldwide for recognition of delirium for both clinical and research purposes.
  • Confusion Assessment Method (Long CAM)This 10-item tool is the gold standard for delirium identification, and is strongly recommended for all research uses.
  • CAM-S (for measuring delirium severity)The CAM-S is a tool for measuring delirium severity with either the short or long version of the CAM.
  • FAM-CAM (family assessment of delirium)The FAM-CAM is designed to be used with family caregivers to enhance the recognition of delirium.
  • 3D-CAM (brief cognitive screen with CAM)The 3D-CAM is a three minute assessment tool that can be used to test patients for delirium in both clinical and research settings.
  • CHART-DEL (Chart Delirium Identification): The CHART-DEL is a validated method that can be used to review charts (medical records) to detect the presence of delirium.