Use of the MC-FAQ and MMSE-FAQ in cognitive screening of older African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and European Americans

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Nov;20(11):955-62. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e31825d0935.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the performance of the Mini-Cog-Functional Activities Questionnaire (MC-FAQ) and the Mini-Mental State Examination-Functional Activities Questionnaire (MMSE-FAQ) in cognitive screening of a multiethnic sample of older adults.

Design: This is a descriptive psychometric study.

Setting: Cognitive screening was done in senior centers, at health fairs, and within the nine participating memory disorder centers in the State of Florida.

Participants: African American, Hispanic American, and European American older adults who participated in this screening were matched on gender, age within 3 years and education within 3 years yielding a sample of 225.

Measurements: The MC-FAQ is a combination of the Mini-Cog and Functional Activities Questionnaire. The MMSE-FAQ combines the MMSE with the FAQ. The Geriatric Depression Scale was used to assess depressive symptoms.

Results: African Americans reported significantly less depressive symptoms (F[2, 217] = 10.31, p <0.001) and European Americans had significantly higher mean MMSE scores than the other two groups (F[2, 222] = 3.33, p = 0.037). Participants did not differ by ethnic group on the MC-FAQ or MMSE-FAQ classifications of normal, mild cognitive impairment, or dementia. Age, years of education, and depressive symptoms were significant predictors of MC-FAQ and MMSE-FAQ classifications.

Conclusions: The results suggest that these combinations of screening measures may have less culture bias than the MMSE alone. Sensitivity and specificity should be evaluated in these groups with confirmatory neurological and psychiatric diagnosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / ethnology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Bias
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnosis
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / ethnology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / ethnology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Florida
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mental Status Schedule / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Whites / psychology*