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Eur J Emerg Med. 2010 Dec;17(6):340-2. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e32833777ab.

Screening for cognitive impairment in older people attending accident and emergency using the 4-item Abbreviated Mental Test.

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Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK.


To determine the utility of the 4-item Abbreviated Mental Test (AMT4) for detecting cognitive impairment in accident and emergency patients aged 65 years or older. Cognitive function was assessed using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), 4 and 10-point AMT and subjective judgment. Cognitive impairment was defined as an MMSE score 23/30 or less. Of 601 patients, 226 (37.6%) scored 23 or less on MMSE. Cutoffs of 3 or less for AMT4 and 7 or less for AMT had sensitivities of 80% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.75-0.85] and 76% (95% CI: 0.69-0.81), and specificities of 88% (95% CI: 0.84-0.91) and 93% (95% CI: 0.90-0.96), respectively, for detection of cognitive impairment; subjective judgement of admitting nurse had 50.5% (95% CI: 44-57%) sensitivity and 98.6% (95% CI: 0 96-1.00%) specificity. In conclusion, the AMT4 performs as well as the 10-point AMT in screening for cognitive impairment, and will assist in the early detection of cognitive problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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