The Rapid Cognitive Screen (RCS): A point-of-care screening for dementia and mild cognitive impairment

Theodore K. Malmstrom, V. B. Voss, D. M. Cruz-Oliver, L. A. Cummings-Vaughn, N. Tumosa, G. T. Grossberg, J. E. Morley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: There is a need for a rapid screening test for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia to be used by primary care physicians. The Rapid Cognitive Screen (RCS) is a brief screening tool (< 3 min) for cognitive dysfunction. RCS includes 3-items from the Veterans Affairs Saint Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) exam: recall, clock drawing, and insight. Study objectives were to: 1) examine the RCS sensitivity and specificity for MCI and dementia, 2) evaluate the RCS predictive validity for nursing home placement and mortality, and 3) compare the RCS to the clock drawing test (CDT) plus recall. Methods: Patients were recruited from the St. Louis, MO Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) hospitals (study 1) or the Saint Louis University Geriatric Medicine and Psychiatry outpatient clinics (study 2). Study 1 participants (N=702; ages 65–92) completed cognitive evaluations and 76% (n=533/706) were followed up to 7.5 years for nursing home placement and mortality. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves were computed to determine sensitivity and specificity for MCI (n=180) and dementia (n=82). Logistic regressions were computed for nursing home placement (n=31) and mortality (n=176). Study 2 participants (N=168; ages 60–90) completed the RCS and SLUMS exam. ROC curves were computed to determine sensitivity and specificity for MCI (n=61) and dementia (n=74). Results: RCS predicted dementia and MCI in study 1 with optimal cutoff scores of ≤ 5 for dementia (sensitivity=0.89, specificity=0.94) and ≤ 7 for MCI (sensitivity=0.87, specificity=0.70). The CDT plus recall predicted dementia and MCI in study 1 with optimal cutoff scores of ≤ 2 for dementia (sensitivity=0.87, specificity=0.85) and ≤ 3 for MCI (sensitivity=0.62, specificity=0.62). Higher RCS scores were protective against nursing home placement and mortality. The RCS predicted dementia and MCI in study 2. Conclusions: The 3-item RCS exhibits good sensitivity and specificity for the detection of MCI and dementia, and higher cognitive function on the RCS is protective against nursing home placement and mortality. The RCS may be a useful screening instrument for the detection of cognitive dysfunction in the primary care setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-744
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 28 2015

Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Screening

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