Background: The telephone assessment of cognitive functions may reduce the cost and burden of epidemiological studies.
Methods: We validated the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status-modified (TICS-m) using an extensive in-person assessment as the standard for comparison. Clinical diagnoses of normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or dementia were established by consensus of physician, nurse, and neuropsychological assessments.
Results: The extensive in-person assessment classified 83 persons with normal cognition, 42 persons with MCI, and 42 persons with dementia. There was considerable overlap in TICS-m scores among the three groups. Receiver operating characteristic curves identified < or = 31 as the optimal cutoff score to separate subjects with MCI from subjects with normal cognition (sensitivity = 71.4%; subjects with dementia excluded), and < or = 27 to separate subjects with dementia from subjects with MCI (sensitivity = 69.0%; subjects with normal cognition excluded). The TICS-m performed well when subjects with MCI were pooled either with subjects with dementia (sensitivity = 83.3%) or with subjects with normal cognition (sensitivity = 83.3%).
Conclusions: Although the TICS-m performed well when using a dichotomous classification of cognitive status, it performed only fairly in separating MCI from either normal cognition or dementia. The TICS-m should not be used as a free-standing tool to identify subjects with MCI, and it should be used with caution as a tool to detect dementia.
2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.