Development of the Reporting Essentials for DElirium bioMarker Studies (REDEEMS) guideline



Delirium is a serious and distressing neurocognitive condition manifesting as an acute change in mental status due to medical illness, injury and/or treatment. The understanding of delirium pathophysiology is limited and largely hypothetical and this evidence gap impedes the development of effective therapies. Delirium biomarker studies have a key role in building knowledge of the pathophysiology of delirium, subject to the robustness of their methods and reporting. Our objective was to describe the multi-method development and finalisation of a new reporting guideline for delirium fluid biomarker studies: REDEEMS.


A previously published systematic review on delirium and advanced cancer biomarkers informed a three-round modified Delphi study with international experts in delirium research in 2019. We held a follow-up consensus meeting with a newly configured expert panel of 12 delirium researchers in June, 2020 to determine the inclusion or exclusion of 16 items that achieved 70-80% (i.e., borderline) consensus in the Delphi study.


Of the 16 items presented at the consensus meeting, seven were excluded, six remained as discrete items, and three were merged with another item. The final REDEEMS guideline contained nine items specific to reporting delirium biomarker studies.


The REDEEMS guideline was developed through a rigorously conducted Delphi and follow-up consensus meeting with international experts in delirium research. The REDEEMS will support the improved reporting rigour and synthesis of future delirium biomarker research. The next step is dissemination to promote uptake of the guideline and evaluate the influence on improved study methods and capacity to address research hypotheses.


Guidelines, Delirium, Biomarkers, Development of effective therapy, Therapeutic guideline development

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