Table 5

Validity of Bedside nurse assessments of delirium symptoms compared to RA-1 ratings of delirium symptoms using MDS-2 items1

Symptoms

T1 (N = 125)

T2 (N = 125)


Sensitivity2 No. (%) [95% CI]

Specificity3No. (%) [95% CI]

Sensitivity No. (%) [95% CI]

Specificity No. (%) [95% CI]


Easily distracted

62/116 (53.4) [44.0–62.8]

6/9 (66.7) [29.9–92.5]

73/117 (62.4) [53.0–71.2]

5/8 (62.5) [24.5–91.5]

Periods of altered perception

9/23 (39.1) [19.7–61.5]

75/102 (73.5) [63.9–81.8]

9/21 (42.9) [21.8–66.0]

78/104 (75.0) [65.6–83.0]

Disorganized speech

50/86 (58.1) [47.0–68.7]

27/39 (69.2) [52.4–83.0]

48/84 (57.1) [45.9–67.9]

28/41 (68.3) [51.9–81.9]

Periods of restlessness

35/108 (32.4) [23.7–42.1]

14/17 (82.3) [56.6–96.2]

29/102 (28.4) [19.9–38.2]

19/23 (82.6) [61.2–95.0]

Periods of lethargy

22/63 (34.9) [23.3–48.0]

47/62 (75.8) [63.3–85.8]

24/57 (42.1) [29.1–55.9]

55/68 (80.9) [69.5–89.4]

Mental function varies over the course of the day

54/118 (45.8) [36.6–55.2]

4/7 (57.1) [18.4–90.1]

56/113 (49.6) [40.0–59.1]

8/12 (66.7) [34.9–90.1]


1 RA-1 ratings of delirium symptoms, assessed with the MDS-2 items, was used as the reference standard.

2 Indicates how often nurses detected delirium symptom when it was present (true positive rate).

3 Indicates how often nurses rated delirium symptom as absent when it was not present (true-negative rate).

Voyer et al. BMC Nursing 2008 7:4   doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-4

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