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Appl Nurs Res. 2000 Feb;13(1):29-36.

Nursing documentation versus standardized assessment of cognitive status in hospitalized medical patients.

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Office of Educational Development, University of Arkanas for Medical Sciences, College of Nursing, Little Rock 72205, USA.


Although the literature discusses the importance of assessing cognitive status, little research has explored the concordance of nurses' documentation of cognitive status and standardized assessment. This study examined nurses documentation of cognitive status in 42 medically hospitalized individuals (mean age 51.9, SD = 10.1 years) using a variety of standardized measures. Although the chart review revealed no documentation of impaired cognitive status, impaired performance in 24 to 67% of the cognitive measures was identified. This study suggests nurses are missing cognitive impairment in hospitalized patients by limiting assessment to orientation. Use of a combination of several brief screening measures, such as the Clock Drawing Test and the standardized Mini-Mental State Examination, would provide timely, effective, and inexpensive assessment of cognitive status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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