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Conversion of the Mini-Mental State Examination to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health terminology and scoring system


De Vriendt, Patricia; Gorus, Ellen; Bautmans, I.; Mets, Tony


k. A.


Gerontology, 2012, Volume 58 (Number 2), Seite 112-119, Basel: Karger, ISSN: 0304-324X (Print); 1423-0003 (Online)





In older patients, evaluation of the cognitive status is crucial. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is widely used for screening of cognition, providing fairly high sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility. Recently, a consensus emerged on the necessity of an international and transparent language, as provided by the WHO's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Most assessment tools however are not in accordance with the ICF.


To reformulate the MMSE according to the ICF, both for the individual items and for the scoring system.


MMSE data (scores varying from 3 to 30/30) of
(1) 217 cognitively healthy elderly,
(2) 60 persons with mild cognitive impairment,
(3) 60 patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD), and
(4) 60 patients with moderate/severe AD were obtained from studies at a university hospital setting.

Subjects were aged 65 years or more and recruited either through advertisement (group 1), from the geriatric day hospital (groups 2 and 3), or the geriatric ward (group 4). The allocation to the groups was done after multidisciplinary evaluation. The conversion of the MMSE to ICF-MMSE was done by content comparison and by subsequent translation of the scoring system using automatic algorithms.


All MMSE items were converted to the corresponding ICF categories. Three ICF domains were addressed: global and specific mental functions, general tasks and demands, divided over 6 ICF categories (orientation time/place, sustaining attention, memory functions, mental functions of language, undertaking a simple task). Scores on individual items were transformed according to their relative weight on the original MMSE scale, and a total ICF-MMSE score from 0 (no problem) to 100 (complete problem) was generated. Translation was satisfying, as illustrated by a good correlation between MMSE and ICF-MMSE. The diagnostic groups were distributed over the ICF-MMSE scores as expected. For each ICF domain, ICF-MMSE subscores were higher with increasing severity in cognitive decline. There was a higher dispersion, in accordance with the more detailed scoring possibilities of the ICF-MMSE.


It is possible to adapt the MMSE to the ICF concept. This adaptation enhances interdisciplinary communication since it provides more clarity in assessment, with better visibility of the areas covered by the instrument.

Weitere Informationen:

Informationen in der ICF:


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Informationsstand: 10.05.2012

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