Vol. 3 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2009
Original Article Páginas: 81 a 87

The performance of the Mini-Cog in a sample of low educational level elderly

Authors Sergio Telles Ribeiro Filho1, Roberto Alves Lourenço2


keywords: neuropsychology, dementia, mass screening, aging, ambulatory care, validity.

Objectives: To study the criterion validity of the Mini-Cog in low educational level elderly. Design: Cross-sectional and validation design. Setting: Policlínica Piquet Carneiro, an outpatient unit of Rio de Janeiro State University Hospital, in Brazil. Participants: A convenient sample consisting of 306 individuals, 65 yrs or older, selected from April 8th to July 15th, 2002. Methods: All participants underwent comprehensive geriatric evaluations which included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the cognitive part of the Cambridge Examination for Mental Disorders of the Elderly - Revised (CAMCOG-R). They were classified as demented or non-demented (DSM-IV). A post-hoc analysis was performed on the data from the 3 word recall test of the MMSE, and the Clock Drawing Test from the CAMCOG-R, and respective scores were added and interpreted in accordance with the Mini-Cog protocol. Results: 293 individuals completed all the study steps; 211 had 4 or less years of schooling and were included in the data analysis. 32% had dementia. Mini-Cog sensitivity and specificity was consistently low independently of the different cut-off points considered. The best performance was found at the cut-off point of 2/3 which yielded sensitivity and specificity of 60% and 65%, respectively. Conclusion: The Mini-Cog is not a good cognitive screening tool for individuals with less than five years of formal education.


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