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Use of the Mini-Mental State Examination in research on the elderly in Brazil: a systematic review

Abstract

The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is the most widely used cognitive screening test around the world. In Brazil, different MMSE versions and many cut-off points have been used. A systematic review of papers indexed in Scielo was conducted in order to analyze use of the MMSE in Brazilian empirical studies with elderly people. To search for these texts, the complete name of the instrument and its abbreviation were used. A growth trend in the scientific production during the 1998 to 2013 period was observed. Eleven versions of the MMSE were identified and the Bertolucci et al. version was the most cited. Over half of the studies used schooling as the criteria to establish cut-off points. The studies were predominantly conducted using samples recruited from large cities in the Southeastern region and in the community. Despite the growing trend of research with the elderly using the MMSE, the psychometric properties of this scale of measurement have been the subject of little investigation. Despite the widespread use of the MMSE in Brazil, there is a lack of standardization and evidence of validity for this this scale of measurement.

Evaluation; Cognition; Elderly people; Systematic review

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