Visual-spatial perception: a comparison between instruments frequently used in the primary care setting and a computerized cognitive assessment battery

Clin Interv Aging. 2015 Nov 25;10:1881-6. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S92819. eCollection 2015.


Background: The development of screening instruments will help the primary care team to determine when further comprehensive cognitive assessment is necessary.

Design: A retrospective analysis based on medical records.

Patients and setting: Patients referred to a comprehensive geriatric assessment unit.

Analysis: Cognitive screening and assessment included visual-spatial components: the Mini Mental State Examination, the Clock Drawing Test, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test, and the Neurotrax (Mindstreams) computerized cognitive assessment battery.

Results: The average age of the 190 eligible patients was 81.09±5.42 years. Comparing the individual tests with that of the visual-spatial index of Neurotrax, we found the Trail Making B test to be most sensitive (72.4%) and the Cube Test to have the highest specificity (72.8%). A combination of tests resulted in higher sensitivity and lower specificity.

Conclusion: The use of a combination of visual-spatial tests for screening in neurocognitive disorders should be evaluated in further prospective studies.

Keywords: cognitive assessment; mild cognitive impairment; screening tools; visual-spatial perception.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Comorbidity
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Examination
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spatial Processing*