Screening for Cognitive Impairment: Comparing the Performance of Four Instruments in Primary Care
Article first published online: 30 MAY 2012
© 2012, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2012, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 60, Issue 6, pages 1027–1036, June 2012
How to Cite
Holsinger, T., Plassman, B. L., Stechuchak, K. M., Burke, J. R., Coffman, C. J. and Williams, J. W. (2012), Screening for Cognitive Impairment: Comparing the Performance of Four Instruments in Primary Care. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60: 1027–1036. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.03967.x
- Issue published online: 12 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 30 MAY 2012
- Durham VA Primary Care Clinics
- VA, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development
- Health Services Research and Development. Grant Number: IIR 05–112–2
- VA office of Research and Development
- cognitive impairment;
- geriatric assessment;
To determine whether brief cognitive screening tests perform as well as a longer screening test in diagnosis of cognitive impairment, no dementia (CIND) or dementia.
A cross-sectional comparison of cognitive screening tests to an independent criterion standard evaluation using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria. Performance of the cognitive screening tests for identifying dementia, and separately for identifying dementia or CIND, was characterized using sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, and diagnostic odds ratios.
Three Department of Veterans Affairs primary care clinics.
Of 826 independently living veterans aged 65 and older without a prior diagnosis of dementia, 639 participated and 630 were assigned a research diagnosis.
Screening tests included the modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MS; average time to administer, 17 minutes) and three brief instruments: the Memory Impairment Screen (MIS; 4 minutes), the Mini-Cog (3 minutes), and a novel two-item functional memory screen (MF-2; 1.5 minutes).
Participants were aged 74.8 on average and were mostly white or black. They were mostly male (92.9%) and had been prescribed a mean of 7.7 medications for chronic conditions. The prevalence of dementia and CIND was 3.3% and 39.2%, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity for dementia were 86% and 79% for the 3MS, 76% and 73% for the Mini-Cog, 43% and 93% for the MIS, and 38% and 87% for the MF-2, respectively.
In individuals without a prior diagnosis of cognitive impairment, the prevalence of dementia was low, but the prevalence of CIND was high. The 3MS and Mini-Cog had reasonable performance characteristics for detecting dementia, but a definitive diagnosis requires additional evaluation.