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Psychol Rep. 2012 Dec;111(3):939-51.

Relationships between the Nevada brief cognitive assessment instrument and the St. Louis University mental status examination in the assessment of disability applicants.


Mental status examinations of individuals applying for disability are most often authorized as "2-hour" evaluations and are to include a complete clinical and employment history, assessment of neurocognitive functions, an estimate of general level of intelligence, psychological and social adjustment, functional abilities, and a complete multipage report of the results. In the interest of meeting these demands we have been using the Nevada brief cognitive assessment instrument (NBCAI) to rapidly estimate verbal intelligence, and we have adopted the Saint Louis University Mental Status Examination (SLUMS) to investigate neurocognitive functions. Areas of correspondence and differences between these screens are presented along with an explanation of why execution of both screens could be useful in addressing psychological questions concerning disability. The two instruments failed to correlate significantly in a group of patients undergoing pre-surgical evaluation likely because this sample was more highly educated and more homogeneous than the sample of disability referrals. For example, although the ages of the samples were close (disability sample mean and standard deviation age: 43.88 and 11.35 years; pre-surgical sample mean and standard deviation age: 46.14 and 2.84 years), they differed considerably in level of education (disability sample mean and standard deviation: 11.03 and 2.15; pre-surgical mean and standard deviation: 15.22 and 2.84). The pre-surgical group had mean performances close to the ceiling levels of both instruments.

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