International Psychogeriatrics

Review Article

Screening for dementia: a review of self- and informant-assessment instruments

Nicolas Cherbuina1 c1, Kaarin J. Ansteya1 and Darren M. Lipnickia1

a1 Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


Background: The objective of this study was to review available dementia screening instruments that could be recommended for self-administration, particularly in electronic format. Owing to the gradual loss of insight associated with the progression of dementia, a broad definition of self-administration including self-administration by concerned informants (family, friends, carers) was used.

Method: A systematic search of PubMed, PsychINFO, and the Cochrane Library Database was conducted. Only available full-text articles about dementia screening instruments written in English were included. Articles reporting on instruments used in a non-English context were excluded unless a validated English version of the instrument was available. Included instruments were assessed against the precise criteria and characteristics of the Mini-mental State Examination (MMSE), the most widely used screening instrument.

Results: The Concord Informant Dementia Scale (CIDS) and the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) were the only instruments meeting all selection criteria. The Memory Impairment Screen (MIS) also met the criteria, although it lacks validation for self-administration. No instrument has been validated for self-administration in electronic format.

Conclusions: It is recommended that the MIS, the CIDS and the IQCODE be validated for self-administration in electronic format.

(Received June 04 2007)

(Online publication August 08 2007)

(Revised October 09 2007)

(Accepted October 10 2007)

(Online publication October 01 2007)


c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Nicolas Cherbuin, Centre for Mental Health Research, Building 63, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. Phone: +612 61253858; Fax: +612 61250733. Email: