a1 Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
a2 Norwegian Centre for Dementia Research, Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
a3 Voss DPS – NKS Bjørkeli, Voss, Norway
a4 Department of Neurology, Rikshospitalet University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
a5 NKS Olaviken Hospital for Old Age Psychiatry, Bergen-Erdal, Norway
a6 Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, Section for Geriatric Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
a7 Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
a8 Vestfold Mental Health Care Trust, Tønsberg, Norway
Background: Brief cognitive tests represent a first step in the assessment of elderly people referred to outpatient clinics because of cognitive impairment. The aim of this study is to determine sensitivity, specificity and likelihood ratio for a positive result (LR+) for the brief cognitive tests Seven Minute Screen (7MS) and Syndrom Kurztest (SKT) in an outpatient sample of elderly patients with no dementia or mild dementia.
Methods: Ninety-five patients aged 65 years or more from 10 Norwegian geriatric and psychogeriatric outpatient clinics were included in the study. All the subjects had a Mini-mental State Examination score of 22–30. A consensus diagnosis of dementia according to ICD-10 was established by an expert panel that considered data from a standardized assessment protocol blinded for 7MS and SKT results.
Results: Subjects were diagnosed with mild dementia (n = 69) or no dementia (n = 26). Sensitivity for 7MS was 71%, specificity 73% and LR+ was 2.6. Sensitivity for SKT was 65%, specificity 65% and LR+ was 1.9.
Conclusion: Sensitivity, specificity and LR+ for 7MS and SKT were unacceptably low in this outpatient sample.
(Received August 27 2007)
(Online publication October 04 2007)
(Revised November 26 2007)
(Accepted November 28 2007)
(Online publication April 01 2008)