a1 Department of Mental Hygiene, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
With a psychiatrist's standardized clinical diagnosis as the criterion, the ‘Mini-Mental State’ Examination (MMSE) was 87% sensitive and 82% specific in detecting dementia and delirium among hospital patients on a general medical ward. The false positive ratio was 39% and the false negative ratio was 5 %. All false positives had less than 9 years of education; many were 60 years of age or older. Performance on specific MMSE items was related to education or age. These findings confirm the MMSE's value as a screen instrument for dementia and delirium when later, more intensive diagnostic enquiry is possible; they reinforce earlier suggestions that the MMSE alone cannot yield a diagnosis for these conditions.
c1 Address for correspondence: Dr James C. Anthony, Department of Mental Hygiene, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.