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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2017

J. Antonio García-Casal
University of Salamanca, Department of Research and Development, Iberian Research Psycho-sciences Institute
Manuel Franco-Martín
University of Salamanca, Department of Psychiatry, Zamora Hospital
M. Victoria Perea-Bartolomé
University of Salamanca
J. Miguel Toribio-Guzmán
Department of Research and Development, Iberian Research Psycho-sciences Institute
Carlos García-Moja
Department of Psychiatry, Burgos University Hospital
Miguel Goñi-Imizcoz
Department of Neurology, Burgos University Hospital
Emese Csipke
University College London
E-mail address:


Objectives: The reduction in cognitive decline depends on timely diagnosis. The aim of this systematic review was to analyze the current available information and communication technologies-based instruments for cognitive decline early screening and detection in terms of usability, validity, and reliability.

Methods: Electronic searches identified 1,785 articles of which thirty-four met the inclusion criteria and were grouped according to their main purpose into test batteries, measures of isolated tasks, behavioral measures, and diagnostic tools.

Results: Thirty one instruments were analyzed. Fifty-two percent were personal computer based, 26 percent tablet, 13 percent laptop, and 1 was mobile phone based. The most common input method was touchscreen (48 percent). The instruments were validated with a total of 4,307 participants: 2,146 were healthy older adults (M = 73.59; SD = 5.12), 1,104 had dementia (M = 74.65; SD = 3.98) and 1,057 mild cognitive impairment (M = 74.84; SD = 4.46). Only 6 percent were administered at home, 19 percent reported outcomes about usability, and 22 percent about understandability. The methodological quality of the studies was good, the weakest methodological area being usability. Most of the instruments obtained acceptable values of specificity and sensitivity.

Conclusions: It is necessary to create home delivered instruments and to include usability studies in their design. Involvement of people with cognitive decline in all phases of the development process is of great importance to obtain valuable and user-friendly products. It would be advisable for researchers to make an effort to provide cutoff points for their instruments.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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