Utility of TICS-M for the assessment of cognitive function in older adults

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2003 Apr;18(4):318-24. doi: 10.1002/gps.830.


Background: Routine screening of high-risk elderly people for early cognitive impairment is constrained by the limitations of currently available cognitive function tests. The Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status is a novel instrument for assessment of cognitive function that can be administered in person or by telephone.

Objective: To evaluate the determinants and utility of TICS-M (13-item modified version) for assessment of cognitive function in healthy elderly people.

Methods: The utility of TICS-M was compared with more widely used MMSE and CAMCOG in a cross-sectional survey of 120 older (62 to 89 years) UK adults.

Results: The TICS-M cognitive test scores (27.97, SD 4.15) were normally distributed in contrast with those for MMSE and CAMCOG that had a negatively skewed distribution. TICS-M scores were inversely correlated with age (r = -0.21) and with the NART fullscale IQ (r = -0.35), but were independent of years of education in this cohort. TICS-M was highly correlated with MMSE (r = 0.57) and with CAMCOG (r = 0.62) scores. The time required to complete the test is comparable to MMSE and substantially less than CAMCOG.

Conclusions: The normal distribution of TICS-M test scores suggest that this test is less constrained by the ceiling effect which limits the utility of MMSE and CAMCOG test scores in detecting early cognitive impairment. TICS-M is an appropriate instrument to assess cognitive function in both research and in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Remote Consultation / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Telephone