Mini Mental Status Exam Psychological Assessment Resources

Mini Mental State Exam

I have issues with the Mini Mental Status Exam being the go-to, quickie dementia assessment tool used by physicians. It was designed to be brief (10 minutes at the doctor’s office or bedside at the hospital), and to gently probe into each of the major areas of cognition. It is simple to score and provides an objective number that can be used as a baseline for cognitive performance. There is plenty of research touting the MMSE’s high degree of validity and reliability in assessing cognitive function. But does it really assess for Alzheimer’s disease? Does it provide any scope of severity of the disease or, more importantly, measure function?

I think not.

What is the MMSE?

The Mini Mental Status Exam per Wikipedia::

The mini–mental state examination (MMSE) or Folstein test is a brief 30-point questionnaire test that is used to screen for cognitive impairment. It is commonly used in medicine to screen for dementia. It is also used to estimate the severity of cognitive impairment and to follow the course of cognitive changes in an individual over time, thus making it an effective way to document an individual’s response to treatment.
In about 10 minutes it samples functions including arithmetic, memory and orientation. It was introduced by Folstein et al. in 1975.[1] This test is not a mental status examination. The standard MMSE form which is currently published by Psychological Assessment Resources is based on its original 1975 conceptualization, with minor subsequent modifications by the authors.

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