Investigating how electroencephalogram measures associate with delirium: A systematic review

Monique S. Boord, Bahar Moezzi, Daniel Davis, Tyler J. Ross, Scott Coussens, Peter J. Psaltis, Alice Bourke, Hannah A.D. Keage

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Delirium is a common neurocognitive disorder in hospital settings, characterised by fluctuating impairments in attention and arousal following an acute precipitant. Electroencephalography (EEG) is a useful method to understand delirium pathophysiology. We performed a systematic review to investigate associations between delirium and EEG measures recorded prior, during, and after delirium. A total of 1,655 articles were identified using PsycINFO, Embase and MEDLINE, 31 of which satisfied inclusion criteria. Methodological quality assessment was undertaken, resulting in a mean quality score of 4 out of a maximum of 5. Qualitative synthesis revealed EEG slowing and reduced functional connectivity discriminated between those with and without delirium (i.e. EEG during delirium); the opposite pattern was apparent in children, with cortical hyperexcitability. EEG appears to have utility in differentiating those with and without delirium, but delirium vulnerability and the long-term effects on brain function require further investigation. Findings provide empirical support for the theory that delirium is a disorder of reduced functional brain integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-257
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jan 2021


  • Delirium
  • EEG
  • Electroencephalography
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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