Test-retest reliability of the Mini-Mental State Examination in an elderly population attended in a primary health care setting

Abstract Introduction: Geriatric assessment has been done worldwide with the aid of functional and cognitive scales. In Brazil, the psychometric features of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) have not been properly assessed in elderly outpatients. Objectives: To determine the test-retest reliability of the Portuguese version of the MMSE in elderly people. Methods: A sample of 306 people (>=65 years) who have attended a primary health care setting was selected. They were submitted to a comprehensive geriatric assessment with several functional tools including the Mini-Mental State Examination, and 105 individuals were tested again one week after the initial assessment, by the same examiners. The reliability was assessed by Cohen's kappa and intraclass correlation coefficients. The internal scale consistency was assessed by Crombach's alpha coefficient. Results: There were no significant socio-economic differences between the reliability sample and the study population. The kappa coefficient was considered “substantial” (0.79 at cutoff point = 23/24). The ICC was 0.80 and the Cronbach's alpha was 0.71. Conclusion: When assessed by kappa and ICC coefficients the Portuguese version of the MMSE was considered reliable in a test-retest model of reliability study in an elderly population attended in a primary care setting.