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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764


RIBEIRO FILHO, Sergio Telles  and  LOURENCO, Roberto Alves. The performance of the Mini-Cog in a sample of low educational level elderly. Dement. neuropsychol. [online]. 2009, vol.3, n.2, pp.81-87. ISSN 1980-5764.


To study the criterion validity of the Mini-Cog in low educational level elderly.


Cross-sectional and validation design.


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.


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.


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.


The Mini-Cog is not a good cognitive screening tool for individuals with less than five years of formal education.

Keywords : neuropsychology; dementia; mass screening; aging; ambulatory care; validity..

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