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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2012 Sep;13(7):611-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2012.06.004. Epub 2012 Jul 15.

MDS 3.0: brief interview for mental status.

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UCLA/Jewish Home Borun Center for Gerontological Research, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



To test the feasibility and validity of the Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) as a performance-based cognitive screener that could be easily completed by nursing home staff. The current study examines the performance of the BIMS as part of the national testing of the Minimum Data Set 3.0 (MDS 3.0) for Nursing Homes.


The BIMS was tested as part of the national MDS 3.0 evaluation study among 3822 residents scheduled for MDS 2.0 assessments. Residents were from 71 community nursing homes (NHs) in eight states. Residents were randomly included in a feasibility sample (n = 3258) and a validation sample (n = 418). Cognition was assessed with three instruments: the Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS), the MDS 2.0 Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS), and the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MS). Trained research nurses administered the 3MS and BIMS to all subjects in the validation study. The CPS score was determined based on the MDS 2.0 completed by nursing home staff who had undergone additional training on cognitive testing. Standard cutoff scores on the 100-point 3MS were used as the gold standard for any cognitive impairment (<78) and for severe impairment (<48). Staff impressions were obtained from anonymous surveys.


The BIMS was attempted and completed in 90% of the 3258 residents in the feasiblity sample. BIMS scores covered the full instrument range (0-15). In the validation sample, correlation with the criterion measure (3MS) was higher for BIMS (0.906, P < .0001) than for CPS (-0.739, P < .0001); P < .01 for difference. For identifying any impairment, a BIMS score of 12 had sensitivity = 0.83 and specificity = 0.91; for severe impairment, a BIMS score of 7 had sensitivity = 0.83 and specificity = 0.92. The area under the receiver operator characteristics curve, a measure of test accuracy, was higher for BIMS than for CPS for identifying any impairment (AUC = 0.930 and 0.824, respectively) and for identifying severe impairment (AUC = 0.960 and 0.857, respectively). Eighty-eight percent of survey respondents reported that the BIMS provided new insight into residents' cognitive abilities. The average time for completing the BIMS was 3.2 minutes.


The BIMS, a short performance-based cognitive screener expressly designed to facilitate cognitive screening in MDS assessments, was completed in the majority of NH residents scheduled for MDS assessments in a large sample of NHs, demonstrating its feasibility. Compared with MDS 2.0 observational items, the BIMS performance-based assessment approach was more highly correlated with a criterion cognitive screening test and demonstrated greater accuracy. The majority of surveyed staff reported improved assessments with the new approach.

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