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Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas)

Print version ISSN 0103-166XOn-line version ISSN 1982-0275


MOTA, Márcia Maria Peruzzi Elia da; BANHATO, Eliane Ferreira Carvalho; SILVA, Kelly Cristina Atalaia da  and  CUPERTINO, Ana Paula Fabrino Bretas. Cognitive screening: comparisons between the mini-mental and the trail-making test. Estud. psicol. (Campinas) [online]. 2008, vol.25, n.3, pp.353-359. ISSN 0103-166X.

This study investigated the performance of elderly people in the Mini-Mental State Examination cognitive screening test. By comparing the performance of ninety-two elderly subjects in the Mini-Mental test and the Trail Making test, the authors demonstrated that the Mini-Mental test is not appropriate for identifying precocious cognitive decline. The results of the analyses showed that those who passed the Trail Test had better performance than those who failed. At first, these results may suggest that both the Trail test and the Mini-Mental test are screening for cognitive decline. However, the analysis of the average number of correct answers in the test showed that around 90% of those who correctly completed the Trail Test B would pass the Mini-Mental test in clinical evaluations. These results held true even when a conservative cut-off point was adopted (those for literate subjects). Almost 90% of the subjects, who would be described as having a cognitive deficiency per Trail Test B did not show a decline when Mini-Mental cognitive screening was used. These results point to the importance of reviewing the screening procedures when prevention of cognitive decline is the aim. These results suggest that the Mini-Mental cognitive screening test detects decline when it has already begun but that it has little value when evaluating a sample of healthy subjects.

Keywords : Cognition; Aging; Life cicle stagei; Neuropsycological assessment.

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