Validating a new clinical subtyping scheme for delirium with electronic motion analysis

Alan Godfrey, Maeve Leonard, Sinead Donnelly, Marion Conroy, Gearóid ÓLaighin, David Meagher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The usefulness of motor subtypes of delirium is unclear due to inconsistency in sub-typing methods and a lack of validation with objective measures of activity. The activity of 40 patients was measured with 24 h accelerometry monitoring. Patients with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) delirium (n=30) were allocated into hyperactive, hypoactive and mixed motor subtypes. Delirium subtypes differed in relation to overall amount of activity, including movement in both sagittal and transverse planes. Differences were greater in the daytime and during the early evening 'sundowning' period. Frequency of postural changes was the most discriminating measure examined. Clinical subtypes of delirium defined by observed motor behaviour on the ward differ in electronically measured activity levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-190
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1
Early online date10 May 2010
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2010


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