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Alzheimers Dement. 2009 Nov;5(6):492-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2009.02.007. Epub 2009 Jul 31.

Telephone interview for cognitive status: Creating a crosswalk with the Mini-Mental State Examination.

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  • 1Aging Brain Center, Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston, MA, USA. tfong@bidmc.harvard.edu



Brief cognitive screening measures are valuable tools for both research and clinical applications. The most widely used instrument, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), is limited in that it must be administered face-to-face, cannot be used in participants with visual or motor impairments, and is protected by copyright. Screening instruments such as the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS) were developed to provide a valid alternative, with comparable cut-point scores to rate global cognitive function.


The MMSE, TICS-30, and TICS-40 scores from 746 community-dwelling elders who participated in the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study (ADAMS) were analyzed with equipercentile equating, a statistical process of determining comparable scores based on percentile equivalents for different forms of an examination.


Scores from the MMSE and TICS-30 and TICS-40 corresponded well, and clinically relevant cut-point scores were determined. For example, an MMSE score of 23 is equivalent to 17 and 20 on the TICS-30 and TICS-40, respectively.


These findings indicate that TICS and MMSE scores can be linked directly. Clinically relevant and important MMSE cut points and the respective ADAMS TICS-30 and TICS-40 cut-point scores are included, to identify the degree of cognitive impairment among respondents with any type of cognitive disorder. These results will help in the widespread application of TICS in both research and clinical practice.

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