Defining delirium for the International classification of diseases, 11th revision

David J. Meagher, Alasdair M. J. MacLullich, Jouko V. Laurila

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objective: The development of ICD-11 provides an opportunity to update the description of delirium according to emerging data that have added to our understanding of this complex neuropsychiatric syndrome. Method: Synthetic article based on published work considered by the authors to be relevant to the definition of delirium. Results: The current DSM-IV definition of delirium is preferred to the ICD-10 because of its greater inclusivity. Evidence does not support major changes in the principal components of present definitions but a number of key issues for the updated definition were identified. These include better account of non-cognitive features, more guidance for rating contextual diagnostic items, clearer definition regarding the interface with dementia, and accounting for illness severity, clinical subtypes and course. Conclusion: Development of the ICD definition of delirium can allow for more targeted research and clinical effort. (c) 2008 Published by Elsevier Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


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