The Organic Brain Syndrome (OBS) scale: a systematic review.

Karin Björkman Björkelund, Sylvia Larsson, Lars Gustafson, Edith Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (SciVal)
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Background/Objective The Organic Brain Syndrome (OBS) Scale was developed to determine elderly patients' disturbances of awareness and orientation as to time, place and own identity, and assessment of various emotional and behavioural symptoms appearing in delirium, dementia and other organic mental diseases. The aim of the study was to examine the OBS Scale, using the eight criteria and guidelines formulated by the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Medical Outcomes Trust (SAC), and to investigate its relevance and suitability for use in various clinical settings. Method Systematic search and analysis of papers (30) on the OBS Scale were carried out using the criteria suggested by the SAC. Results: The OBS Scale in many aspects satisfies the requirements suggested by the SAC: conceptual and measurement model, reliability, validity, responsiveness, interpretability, respondent and administrative burden, alternative forms of administration, and cultural and language adaptations, but there is a need for additional evaluation, especially with regard to different forms of reliability, and the translation and adaptation to other languages. Conclusions The OBS Scale is a sensitive scale which is clinically useful for the description and long-term follow-up of patients showing symptoms of acute confusional state and dementia. Although the OBS Scale has been used in several clinical studies there is need for further evaluation. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-222
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division IV (013230800), Division of Gerontology and Caring Sciences (Closed 2012) (013220200), Section I-II (013230011), Division of Nursing (Closed 2012) (013065000), Department of Psychogeriatrics (013304000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Geriatrics
  • Psychiatry


  • MMSE
  • reliability
  • validity
  • dementia
  • delirium
  • OBS Scale
  • confusion
  • clinical usefulness


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