Cognitive Change Questionnaire as a method for cognitive impairment screening

The Cognitive Change Questionnaire (CCQ) was created as an effective measure of cognitive change that is easy to use and suitable for application in Brazil. Objective: To evaluate whether the CCQ can accurately distinguish normal subjects from individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and/or early stage dementia and to develop a briefer questionnaire, based on the original 22-item CCQ (CCQ22), that contains fewer questions. Methods: A total of 123 individuals were evaluated: 42 healthy controls, 40 patients with MCI and 41 with mild dementia. The evaluation was performed using cognitive tests based on individual performance and on questionnaires administered to informants. The CCQ22 was created based on a selection of questions that experts deemed useful in screening for early stage dementia. Results: The CCQ22 showed good accuracy for distinguishing between the groups. Statistical models selected the eight questions with the greatest power to discriminate between the groups. The AUC ROC corresponding to the final version of the 8-item CCQ (CCQ8), demonstrated good accuracy in differentiating between groups, good correlation with the final diagnosis (r=0.861) and adequate internal consistency (Cronbach's α=0.876). Conclusion: The CCQ8 can be used to accurately differentiate between normal subjects and individuals with cognitive impairment, constituting a brief and appropriate instrument for cognitive screening.