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Adjusting Mini-Mental State Examination Scores for Age and Educational Level to Screen for Dementia: Correcting Bias or Reducing Validity?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2005

Helena Chmura Kraemer
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA
Deborah J. Moritz
Affiliation:
Department of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA
Jerome Yesavage
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, USA

Abstract

The question of whether Mini-Mental State Examination scores should be adjusted for age and educational levels to screen for dementia in clinical populations is reexamined in the results of a recent study supporting adjustment. If the criterion is to identify the most accurate screening procedure for each sociodemographic subgroup, the evidence indicates that the unadjusted scores are preferable. Other criteria might lead to different conclusions. The validities of some of these criteria are questionable because they have the flaw that they are easily satisfied by using random decision procedures.

Type
Dementia
Copyright
© 1998 International Psychogeriatric Association

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