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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 2003;36(2): 101-107.
Availability of the Time and Change Test in Screening for Dementia in the Elderly.
Jung Ae Rhee, Eun Kyung Chung, Min Ho Shin
1Department of Preventive Medicine of Medical School and Research Institute of Medical Science, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, Seonam University College of MedicineKorea.
OBJECTIVES: Dementia has emerged as a leading public health problem in elderly persons, and its early detection is important for the treatment of curable cases, and in the educational support for other family members. Although dementia screening tests are available, they have not gained widespread use in community or primary care settings. Our goal was to validate the Time and Change (T and C) Test, -including its validity and reliability in patients, and to assess it as a simple, standardized method for the screening of dementia in the rural elderly. METHODS: The participants in this study comprised of 59 patients from an urban hospital and 405 persons from a rural community aged 65 years or older. The time test evaluated the understanding of clock hands indicating 11: 10, and the change test the ability to make 1, 000 Won from a group of coins, consisting of one 500, seven 100, and seven 50 Won coins. The T and C ratings were validated against a reference standard based on the physician? diagnosis of the patients. The convergent validity in relation to other cognitive measure, test-retest agreement, and inter-observer reliability were assessed. To assess the relationship between the Korean Mini-Mental State Exam (K-MMSE) and the T and C Test, the mean K-MMSE scores were compared with the results of the T and C Test in the elderly from a rural community. RESULTS: The T and C Test had a sensitivity and specificity of 73.0, and 90.9%, and positive and negative predictive values of 93.1, and 66.7%, respectively. The test-retest and inter-observer agreement rates were both 95%. The K-MMSE scores and T and C Test were significantly related in the elderly from a rural community (p< 0.01). The T and C Test was not influenced by the educational status. The Time and Change Tests took a mean of 6.3 and 12.7 seconds, respectively, to complete. CONCLUSION: The T and C Test is a simple, accurate and reliable, performance-based tool in the screening for dementia. Because it is quick, and easy-to-use, it is hoped the T and C Test will be used for the widespread cognitive screening of aging populations.
Key words: Dementia; Mass screening; Aged
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