The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), as developed by Folstein, Folstein, and McHugh (1975), is the most widely used of cognitive screening tools. An examination of the psychometric properties of the MMSE seems warranted because the accurate and comprehensive assessment of mental status can yield profound implications for the quality of life of cognitively impaired older adults (Danner, Beck, Heacock, & Modlin, 1993). In clinical practice, nurses must not only use a valid and reliable screening tool for assessing cognitive impairment, but they must also assess the physical disabilities that may affect client performance and, hence, the cognitive impairment score. The purpose of this study is to examine the psychometric properties of the MMSE in comparison to a more standardized tool and to identify implications of the tool for clinical practice.
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