Mental Status Assessment tool

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Mental Status Assessment of Older Adults: The Mini-Cog TM

By: Deirdre M. Carolan Doerflinger, CRNP, PhD, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, Virginia

WHY: Five and a third (5.3) million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Age is by far the greatest risk factor. One in ten individuals over 65 and nearly half of those over 85 are affected. A new case of dementia in some form is diagnosed every 70 seconds according to the 2010 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures; Older Americans 2010 Key Indicators of Well-Being. The increased availability of successful treatments for dementia and dementia-related illnesses means there is a substantial need for increased early identification of cognitive impairment, particularly in the geriatric population. Using a reliable and valid tool that clinicians can quickly implement facilitates early identification and allows the person to receive prompt treatment. Early identification and intervention in the form of medication and behavioral therapy may slow disease progression, delay functional decline, allow for pre-planning, and postpone nursing home placement.

BEST TOOL: The Mini-Cog TM is a simple screening tool that is well accepted and takes up to only 3 minutes to administer. This tool can be used to detect cognitive impairment quickly during both routine visits and hospitalizations. The Mini-Cog TM serves as an effective triage tool to identify patients in need of more thorough evaluation. The Clock Drawing Test (CDT) component of the Mini-Cog TM allows clinicians to quickly assess numerous cognitive domains including cognitive function, memory, language comprehension, visual-motor skills, and executive function and provides a visible record of both normal and impaired performance that can be tracked over time.

TARGET POPULATION: The Mini-Cog TM is appropriate for use in all health care settings. It is appropriate to be used with older adults at various heterogeneous language, culture, and literacy levels.

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Q&A

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How do I schedule a mental status evaluation? | Yahoo Answers

John ... start by seeing your regular physician. They will give you a full blood workup checking for things like blood sugar disorders and glandular problems. If they don't find anything, then see a psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. There are very good medicines today to treat most mental disorders and well as therapy once the medication(s) take effect. Take care of yourself by eating healthy, doing cardio exercise and getting quality sleep, which are also needed for positive brain chemistry. Chip

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