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Int Psychogeriatr. 2010 Feb;22(1):56-63. doi: 10.1017/S1041610209990676. Epub 2009 Aug 20.

Is the Clock Drawing Test a screening tool for the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment? A systematic review.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.



The clock drawing test (CDT) is a common and widely used cognitive screening instrument for the diagnosis of dementia. However, it has remained unclear whether it is a suitable method to identify mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The aim of this paper is to review systematically the studies concerning the utility of the CDT in diagnosing MCI.


A systematic literature search was conducted. All studies dealing with utility of CDT in diagnosing MCI regardless of the applied CDT scoring system and MCI concept were selected.


Nine relevant studies were identified. The majority of the studies compared average CDT scores of cognitively healthy and mildly impaired subjects, and four of them identified significant mean differences. If reported, sensitivity and specificity have been mostly unsatisfactory.


CDT should not be used for MCI-screening.

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