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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1996 Jun;77(6):617-23.

The agitated brain injured patient. Part 1: Definitions, differential diagnosis, and assessment.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA.


This two-part review provides a critical analysis of the scientific and clinical literature on the agitated brain injured patient. Part 1 reviews nomenclature and classification issues, differential diagnosis, and assessment instruments designed for evaluation of the patient. Pathophysiology and treatment approaches will be discussed in Part 2 in a subsequent issue of the Archives. The review was unfortunately hampered by a lack of consistency in definitions, little scientific study of the neuroanatomic and neurochemical basis for the disorder, few outcome studies, and no randomized controlled treatment trials. Part 1 sets forth an interdisciplinary definition of agitation, establishes a differential diagnostic approach, and describes and critiques the assessment instruments available for clinical evaluation of the agitated patient. Part 2 will address treatment interventions including pharmacological, environmental, and behavioral approaches to this patient population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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