Though many other delirium assessments have been studied for non-ICU patients, the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) is probably the most widely studied and used delirium assessment. The short form CAM is the progenitor of the bCAM, CAM-ICU, and 3D-CAM. The CAM’s features are determined by observing the patient during the interview and while performing bedside cognitive testing. The original validation study observed that the CAM was 94% to 100% sensitive and 90% to 95% specific compared with a psychiatrist’s assessment (Inouye et al. Ann Int Med.1990). Wong et al. performed a meta-analysis and observed a pooled sensitivity of 86% and pooled specificity of 93% (Wong et al. JAMA. 2010). The CAM takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.
Additional details of the CAM can be found at Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP).