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Confusion Assessment Method (CAM)



What is the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM)?

  • The Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) is tool for identifying delirium
  • It was initially developed by Inouye et al in 1990
  • It is based around the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for delirium, with >90% sensitivity
  • More recently the CAMS has been developed into a 3-minute assessment questionnaire (3D-CAM) as a diagnostic tool to determine the presence of delirium


Scoring of the Confusion Assessment Method

  • A positive or negative result depends on four criteria:
    • 1. Acute onset and fluctuating course
      • Determined by collateral history or repeated clinic assessment
    • 2. Inattention
      • Counting from 20-1 is a simple (if blunt) test for this
    • 3. Disorganised thinking
    • 4. Altered levels of consciousness
  • The CAM is considered to be positive for the presence of delirium if both features 1 and 2 are present, with at least one of features 3 or 4.


Click here to download free teaching notes on the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM): Confusion Assessment Method – CAM

Perfect revision for medical students, finals, OSCEs and MRCP PACES