BACKGROUND: Differentiating mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from dementia is important, as treatment options differ. There are few short (<5 min) but accurate screening tools that discriminate between MCI, normal cognition (NC) and dementia, in the Dutch language. The Quick Mild Cognitive Impairment (Qmci) screen is sensitive and specific in differentiating MCI from NC and mild dementia. Given this, we adapted the Qmci for use in Dutch-language countries and validated the Dutch version, the Qmci-D, against the Dutch translation of the Standardised Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE-D).
METHOD: The Qmci was translated into Dutch with a combined qualitative and quantitative approach. In all, 90 participants were recruited from a hospital geriatric clinic (25 with dementia, 30 with MCI, 35 with NC). The Qmci-D and SMMSE-D were administered sequentially but randomly by the same trained rater, blind to the diagnosis.
RESULTS: The Qmci-D was more sensitive than the SMMSE-D in discriminating MCI from dementia, with a significant difference in the area under the curve (AUC), 0.73 compared to 0.60 (p = 0.024), respectively, and in discriminating dementia from NC, with an AUC of 0.95 compared to 0.89 (p = 0.006). Both screening instruments discriminated MCI from NC with an AUC of 0.86 (Qmci-D) and 0.84 (SMMSE-D).
CONCLUSION: The Qmci-D shows similar,(good) accuracy as the SMMSE-D in separating NC from MCI; greater,(albeit fair), accuracy differentiating MCI from dementia, and significantly greater accuracy in separating dementia from NC. Given its brevity and ease of administration, the Qmci-D seems a useful cognitive screen in a Dutch population. Further study with a suitably powered sample against more sensitive screens is now required.