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INTRODUCTION. Temporal orientation is a component of most screening tests for diagnosing cognitive impairment. Correct temporal orientation involves activating both semantic information (concepts of the calendar date) and episodic information (remembering the current date). AIMS. The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic usefulness of a technique for evaluating temporal orientation, which was open-ended, and scoring the semantic and episodic information thus generated (0-10 points). SUBJECTS AND METHODS. A total of 24 subjects without impairment, 77 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 62 patients with dementia were evaluated by means of a 30-point mini-mental/mini-examination, semantic verbal fluency test, global deterioration scale, mini-mental-type temporal orientation and open-ended temporal orientation tests. The areas under the curve (aROC), sensitivity and specificity for dementia and cognitive impairment at any degree (MCI and dementia) were analysed. RESULTS. Open-ended temporal orientation presented a greater area under the curve (a
0.90) for discrimination between patients with dementia and without dementia (MCI and without impairment) and an aROC of 0.83 for discrimination between patients with MCI or dementia and without impairment. For dementia, with a cut-off point equal to or below 6, sensitivity was 0.96 and specificity was 0.68, and for MCI with dementia, with a cut-off point equal to or below 7, sensitivity was 0.72 and specificity was 0.92. CONCLUSIONS. The usefulness, conciseness and strategic position of this technique in examining mental status make it suitable as an instrument for screening for cognitive impairment. It has a high level of sensitivity with low specificity for dementia and low sensitivity with high specificity for any degree of impairment.
Universidad de Zaragoza. Facultad de Educacion, 50009 Zaragoza, Espana.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Revista de neurologia
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