Edinburgh Delirium Test Box


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A major barrier in diagnosing delirium is a poor characterization of the neuropsychological profile of the disorder and the clinical measures used to assess it. Many delirium assessment methods rely on subjective judgments and are only really suitable for use by trained and experienced researchers. In addition, these methods are not very useful in discriminating between delirium and dementia, two closely related conditions that frequently co-occur in older hospitalised people. Further research into the neuropsychology of delirium is essential to develop objective measures, which can accurately detect delirium and differentiate delirium from dementia in a clinical setting.

Studies examining the nature of the neuropsychological deficits in delirium have led the EDRG to develop the first computerized objective assessment of attentional deficits in delirium, the Edinburgh Delirium Test Box (EDTB) or ‘Delbox.’
The EDTB, now succeeded by a second prototype, the EDTB2 is a purpose-built device which is made of two physical components; the experimenter panel and the display panel. The display panel has two large illuminable buttons and numerous small LED lights below the surface. As a hand held, battery powered device, the EDTB2 is suitable for bedside administration.

As an easy to use, computerised measurement device, the EDTB may be used to explore the integrity of different domains of attention in delirium. Numerous tests have been implemented using the EDTB2 including the Sustained Counting Task, Word Building Task and EDT-ICU.