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Development and validation of PRE-DELIRIC(PREdiction of DELIRium in ICu patients) deliriumprediction model for intensive care patients:observational multicentre study
professor in critical care 
, A J C Slooter
, M A Kuiper
, P E Spronk
, P H Jvan der Voort
, J G van der Hoeven
professor in critical care 
, R Donders
,T van Achterberg
professor in nursing 
, L Schoonhoven
senior research fellow nursing science 
Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 6500HB Nijmegen, Netherlands;
Department of IntensiveCare,UniversityMedicalCentreUtrecht,Utrecht,Netherlands;
Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Gelre Hospitals, Location Lukas, Apeldoorn, Netherlands;
Department of Intensive Care, Onze LieveVrouwe Gasthuis, Amsterdam, Netherlands;
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and HTA, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre;
Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
Todevelopandvalidateadeliriumpredictionmodelforadultintensivecarepatientsanddetermineitsadditionalvaluecomparedwithprediction by caregivers.
Observational multicentre study.
Five intensive care units in the Netherlands (two universityhospitals and three university affiliated teaching hospitals).
3056 intensive care patients aged 18 years or over.
Main outcome measure
Development of delirium (defined as at leastone positive delirium screening) during patients’ stay in intensive care.
The model was developed using 1613 consecutive intensivecarepatientsinonehospitalandtemporallyvalidatedusing549patientsfromthesamehospital.Forexternalvalidation,datawerecollectedfrom894patientsinfourotherhospitals.Theprediction(PRE-DELIRIC)modelcontains10riskfactors—age,APACHE-IIscore,admissiongroup,coma,infection, metabolic acidosis, use of sedatives and morphine, ureaconcentration, and urgent admission. The model had an area under thereceiveroperatingcharacteristicscurveof0.87(95%confidenceinterval0.85 to 0.89) and 0.86 after bootstrapping. Temporal validation andexternal validation resulted in areas under the curve of 0.89 (0.86 to0.92) and 0.84 (0.82 to 0.87). The pooled area under the receiveroperating characteristics curve (n=3056) was 0.85 (0.84 to 0.87). Thearea under the curve for nurses’ and physicians’ predictions (n=124)was significantly lower at 0.59 (0.49 to 0.70) for both.
ThePRE-DELIRICmodelforintensivecarepatientsconsistsof10riskfactorsthatarereadilyavailablewithin24hoursafterintensivecare admission and has a high predictive value. Clinical prediction bynurses and physicians performed significantly worse. The model allowsfor early prediction of delirium and initiation of preventive measures.
Trial registration
ClinicaltrialsNCT00604773(developmentstudy)andNCT00961389 (validation study).
Delirium,characterised by an acute onsetof fluctuating changesin mental status and changed levels of consciousness andinattentiveness,
has a high incidence rate in critically illpatients.
It is a serious disorder associated with prolongedstays in intensive care units and hospitals, higher costs, andincreased morbidity and mortality.
2 3 5
Several tools are available for assessing delirium in intensivecare patients, of which the confusion assessmentmethod—intensive care unit (CAM-ICU) has the highestsensitivity and specificity.
6 7
Screening intensive care patientsis important,
so that timely treatment can be provided.However, preventive measures for delirium may also reduce itsincidence, severity, and duration, as determined in other groupsof patients.
11 12
General preventive measures in all intensive carepatients are time consuming and may expose a substantialnumber of patients to unnecessary risks such as the adverse
Correspondence to: M van den Boogaard M.vandenboogaard@ic.umcn.nlExtra material supplied by the author (seehttp://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e420?tab=related#webextra)
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2012;344:e420 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e420 (Published 9 February 2012) Page 1 of 11
effects of drug prophylaxis. Although several predictive modelsfor non-intensive care patients exist,
13 14
as well as one for oldermedical intensive care patients,
no evidence based predictionmodel for general intensive care patients is available. The aimof our study was to develop and validate a delirium predictionmodel for intensive care patients and to determine its valuecompared with prediction by the attending nurses andphysicians.
Study design
This was an observational multicentre study in which we firstlydeveloped the PREdiction of DELIRium for Intensive Carepatients (PRE-DELIRIC) model and then temporally validatedit in a second prospective cohort in the same hospital. We thenvalidated the model externally in four other Dutch hospitals.
Development and temporal validation of themodel
To develop the prediction model, we did a prospective cohortstudy in the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre intheNetherlands.Thisstudytookplacebetween1February2008and 1 February 2009. We did a second prospective cohort studyin the same hospital for temporal validation of the modelbetween 1 May and 1 September 2009.
External validation
After development and temporal validation, we externallyvalidatedthedelirium predictionmodelwithdatafrom intensivecare patients admitted to four other Dutch hospitals between 1January and 1 September 2009. One of these hospitals was auniversity hospital, and three were university affiliated teachinghospitals; all had mixed intensive care populations (table 1).In these hospitals, trained intensive care nurses used theCAM-ICU at least twice daily.
Delirium prediction by caregivers
To compare the predictive value of the model with that of thecaregivers,weaskedintensivecarenursesandphysicianscaringfor the patient to predict independently, within 24 hours afteradmissiontointensivecare,ifpatientswoulddevelopadeliriousperiod during their complete stay in intensive care.
Study population for development andvalidation studies
After the successful implementation of the validated Dutchversion of the CAM-ICU,
the inter-rater reliability of thedelirium screenings by the intensive care nurses was above 0.80Cohen’s κ, with a compliance rate of more than 90%, asdescribed in more detail previously.
During the developmentand temporal validation studies, we included all adult patientsadmitted to the intensive care unit. To detect delirium, intensivecare nursesscreened allconsecutive adultintensive care patientsat least three times daily, and more often if required (forexample, after sudden changes in behaviour, attention, orconsciousness). This frequency of screening was in accordancewith screening in daily practice. We excluded patients if theywere delirious within 24 hours after admission to intensive care,had a sustained Richmond agitation sedation score (RASS) of −4/−5 during the complete intensive care admission, stayed onthe intensive care unitforless than one day,had serious auditoryor visual disorders, were unable to understand Dutch, wereseverely mentally disabled, or had a serious receptive aphasiaor if the compliance rate of the delirium screening was less than80% during a patient’s stay in the intensive care unit.To meet the same inclusion and exclusion criteria during theexternal validation study, we used consecutive patients withcomplete CAM-ICU screenings, defined as a CAM-ICUcompliance rate above 80% per patient. We defined patients ashaving delirium when they had at least one positive CAM-ICUscreening during their intensive care stay or were treated withhaloperidol, as in these hospitals haloperidol is used only fortreatment of delirium. To examine the predictive value of thePRE-DELIRIC model in daily practice in these hospitals, wedid no compliance and inter-rater reliability measurements andused only data from CAM-ICU screenings as done in normaldaily practice.
Potential predictors
We collected demographic variables and information onpotential risk factors identified by a recent systematic review.
We collected these data electronically within 24 hours of admission to intensive care (web appendix A). In addition, weincluded variables from the Dutch national intensive careevaluation database as potential risk factors when the deliriumincidence rate associated with that variable was more than 50%higher than the incidence rate of the total group (web appendixB).
Wherever possible, the risk factors were collected ascontinuous variables (categorical or dichotomised whenotherwise).
Outcome definition
In view ofouraim to develop and validate a delirium predictionmodel,themainoutcomemeasurewasdevelopmentofdeliriumduring patients’ stay in the intensive care unit. We defineddelirium as a minimum of one positive CAM-ICU screeningduring each patient’s intensive care stay. In addition, wescreened patients’ medical and nursing files daily for signs of delirium.
If the files provided signs of delirium without apositive CAM-ICU screening or, conversely, if the files did notprovide evidence of delirium and the patient had a positiveCAM-ICU result, a delirium expert additionally screenedpatients according to the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of  Mental Disorders
, fourth edition (DSM-IV) criteria to rule outfalse negatives and false positives.
Data management and quality checks fordevelopmentand temporalvalidation studies
WemonitoredtheperformanceofCAM-ICUscreeningtoensurethe quality of data collection. We calculated compliance as thepercentage of assessments done each day in relation to the totalnumber of assessments that should have been done. The meancompliance during the development and temporal validationstudies was 90.4%. We measured the quality of CAM-ICUperformance asthe inter-raterreliability.Forthis,we comparedthe CAM-ICU screening assessed by the attending intensivecare nurse with the CAM-ICU score assessed by an expertpsychiatry nurse within a time window of one hour.We did 120inter-rater reliability measurements, resulting in a Cohen’s κ of 0.90 (95% confidence interval 0.82 to 0.98). The first authorrandomlydoublecheckeddatafrom 15% ofallpatientsincludedfor completeness and accuracy.
Statistical analysis
We calculated the sample size needed for the development of the model on the basis of the need for 10-15 delirious patientsper risk factor plus 10% dropout. We imputed missing data for
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2012;344:e420 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e420 (Published 9 February 2012) Page 2 of 11
the risk factors. Values were missing in the development studyfor urea (0.7%), liver enzymes (3.0%), bilirubin (18.0%),calcium (4.5%), sodium (0.3%), haematocrit (0.4%), metabolicacidosis (1.0%), and acute physiology and chronic healthevaluation (APACHE)-II scores (0.7%). Data for all othervariables were complete. All data for the temporal validationstudy were complete. We decided that if a laboratorymeasurement was not determined we had no reason to assumethatthemissingvariablehadanabnormalvalue,andweimputedthe mean normal value. To calculate the normal value, weselected all patients with a normal value and then calculated themean value for this group of patients and used it for imputation.WhentheAPACHE-IIscorewasmissing,weimputedthemeanvalue for the delirium or non-delirium group, depending on theresultsoftheCAM-ICU.Intheexternalvalidationdataset,6.3%of the urea values were missing and imputed. For APACHE-II,0.6% of the scores were missing, and we imputed a meanAPACHE-II score for the group in the external validation set.We used univariate logistic regression to develop the predictionmodel by assessing the association between each potentialprognostic determinantand the presence or absence of delirium.We excluded determinants with a P value above 0.15 inunivariate analysis or with a prevalence rate below 10%. Withthe remaining risk factors, we used multivariate logisticregression analysis with backward elimination (excluding risk factors with P values over 0.10) to evaluate the independentassociations with the occurrence of delirium. The final modeltherefore contains independent risk factors for delirium. Weestimated the prognostic ability of the model to discriminatebetween patients with and without delirium by using the areaunder the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUROC).Weusedbootstrappingtechniquestoadjustforoverfitting—thatis, for overly optimistic estimates of the regression coefficientsof the risk factors in the final model. Two hundred randombootstrap samples resulted in shrunken regression coefficientsof the risk factors and area under the curve of the developedmodel.
In both validation studies, we multiplied shrunken regressioncoefficients foreach risk factorby the observed patients’values.The outcome is a calculated predicted probability on which webuilt a new AUROC. Finally, to examine how well the modelwas calibrated, we calculated linear predictor values for eachpatient of every cohort by using the coefficients from the finaldevelopmentmodel.Weusedtheselinearpredictorsinalogisticregression model to test whether the prediction rule was wellcalibrated, resulting in a calibration slope and an intercept. Acalibration slope of 1 and an intercept of 0 show a perfectcalibration. Calibration plots for each cohort are available inweb appendix D. We used SPSS 16.01, R statistics version2.10.1,
using the rms package,
for all analyses.
Development of prediction model
In total, we screened 2116 consecutive patients and excluded503 of them (fig 1). Of the remaining 1613 patients, 411(25.5%) developed delirium. Table 2shows patients’characteristics, and web appendices B and C contain prevalencerates and delirium incidence rates for the separate risk factors.Of the 25 potential risk factors, we excluded alcohol misuse(7.8%), dementia (1.7%), use of an epidural catheter (2.2%),hyperamylasaemia (3.9%), hyponatraemia (5.8%), use of dopamine (0.2%), and use of lorazepam (0.7%) because of aprevalenceratebelow10%.Weexcludedhypertensionbecauseofa P value above 0.15 in univariate logistic regression analysis.Aftermultivariatelogisticregressionanalysiswiththeremainingrisk factors, we constructed the PRE-DELIRIC model, whichconsisted of 10 risk factors (table 3). The AUROC was 0.87(95% confidence interval 0.85 to 0.89) and 0.86 afterbootstrapping. Calibration of the model resulted in a calibrationslope of 1.08 and an intercept of −0.06. The box shows theformula for the PRE-DELIRIC model.
Temporal validation of prediction model
Intheprospectivevalidationstudy,wescreened748consecutivepatients and excluded 199 of them (fig 1). Of the remaining549 patients, 171 (31.1%) developed delirium (table 2). Thetemporal validation resulted in an AUROC of 0.89 (0.86 to0.92). The calibration slope of the temporal model was 1.2, andthe intercept was 0.22.
External validation of prediction model
We used data from 894 non-selected intensive care patients(table 2) for external validation, resulting in an AUROC of 0.84 (0.82 to 0.87) with a calibration slope of 0.76 and anintercept of −0.59. The AUROCs of the four different hospitalsdid not differ from each other (data not shown). As nodifferences in prediction existed between the three studies, wepooled the data (n=3056), resulting in an AUROC of 0.85 (0.84to 0.87) (fig 2). The pooled data resulted in an overallcalibration slope of 0.93 with an intercept of −0.29, indicatinggood calibration.We divided the complete group into four different risk groups;low, moderate, high, and very high risk, with PRE-DELIRICscores of 0-20%, >20-40%, >40-60%, and >60%. Figure 2shows the sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios for eachrisk group. Figure 3shows the calibration plot of the pooleddata.
Delirium prediction by caregivers
In a convenience sample of 124 patients, we asked attendingintensive care nurses and physicians to predict delirium,independently of each other, within 24 hours of patients’admission to intensive care. The AUROC for prediction by thenurses (0.59, 0.49 to 0.70) and physicians (0.59, 0.49 to 0.70)was inferior to the predictive value of the PRE-DELIRIC model(0.87, 0.81 to 0.93) in this specific subgroup of 124 patients.We found no significant differences between the predictionmade by intensive care nurses (75% of sample) and studentintensive care nurses (25%) or between predictions made byintensivists(36%),fellow-intensivists(40%),orresidents(24%)(data not shown).
In this multicentre study, we developed and validated a modelfor predicting delirium in intensive care patients. To ourknowledge, this is the first delirium prediction study for generalintensive care patients and represents by far the largest deliriumrelated study in intensive care patients to date. OurPRE-DELIRIC model reliably predicted the development of delirium for the complete length of stay in intensive care, onthe basis of 10 readily available risk factors within 24 hours of admission to intensive care. In addition, the area under thereceiver operating characteristics curve of the PRE-DELIRICmodel was significantly higher than the delirium predictioncapacity of attending caregivers. These findings confirm thatthe model has additional value in daily practice. Importantly,dementia and alcohol misuse are not included the model, as
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2012;344:e420 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e420 (Published 9 February 2012) Page 3 of 11

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