A new promising screening method for cognitive functioning in elderly patients
SourceGerontologist, 36, Special Issue 1, (1996), pp. 236
Article / Letter to editor
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Nursing Home Medicine
SW OZ BSI ON
iss. Special Issue 1
SubjectAdaptation, Psychological; Behavioral Medicine; Central Nervous System Diseases; Communicative Disorders; Medisch onderzoek, ziekenhuisbehandeling en chirurgie; Muscular Diseases; Overig medisch onderzoek; Renal Replacement Therapy; Rheumatic Diseases
The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) is frequently used as a screening method to detect cognitive dysfunctioning. However, the MMSE has limited sensitivity to detect mild impairment. We aimed to develop a new screening method to discriminate between normal and mild cognitive functioning in older subjects. Methods: Based on the literature, we selected several test-items related to the diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV) for dementia. This new composed instrument for Screening Cognitive Functions (SCOF) is a brief, 15-minutes approach with questions on orientation, serial attention test, recall of five words, clockdrawmg, language comprehension and reading, word fluency test, visual design reproduction, alternating sequences test, picture arrangement test, and overlapping figure test. The SCOF, MMSE, and complete neuropsychological examination (NPE) was administered, in random order, to 20 patients (mean age 78 ï¿½ 6 yrs) admitted to the Dept. of Geriatric Medicine. Results: After deleting one question about orientation (which season), the internal consistancy of the SCOF was 0.80 (chronbach's alpha). Based on the NPE, we divided the subjects in 3 groups: mild (35%), moderate (60%) and serious cognitive impairrment (5%). The SCOF detected significantly (p<0.05) better mild cognitive impairment than the MMSE (cut off point was 24). Conclusions: SCOF is an useful bedside screening test and these preliminary findings suggest a valid and reliable instrument. In elderly patients, SCOF showed a better detection of mild cognitive impairment compared to MMSE Although SCOF is a promising method for screening cognitive functions, further research is needed.
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