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June 25, 2016

The Short Test of Mental Status (STMS)

• Name, address, current location (street or building), city, county, date (day), month, year (8)
Digit span Present 1/sec, starting at 5 up to 7; record longest correct span
• 5-1-3-9-4, 2-6-1-9-4-7, 2-1-5-4-3-7-2 (7)
Immediate Recall – Number of words learned (N); number of trials needed to learn all four words up to four trials (n); recorded score = N-(n-1)
• Four unrelated words (apple, Mr. Murphy, charity, bridge) (4)
• 5×13, 65-7, 58÷2, 29+11 (4)
• Similarities: apple-banana, cat-horse, table-chair (3)
Construction and Copying
• Draw a clock face showing 11:15 (2)
• Copy a cube (diagram of cube shown to patient) (2)
• President, Taoiseach, define an island, number of weeks per year (4)
• The four words: apple, Mr. Murphy, charity, bridge (4)
Total (38)

Interpretation: Scores in the 34 to 38 range are essentially normal; scores from 29 to 33 suggestive of MCI, and below 29, suggestive of dementia.
• While this test was initially developed to distinguish dementia from normal cognitive function, it may also be helpful in the evaluation of MCI.
• However, scores on this test cannot be viewed as diagnostic. Neuropsychological testing is often desirable when making the distinction
between normal ageing and MCI, and also to characterise subtypes of MCI.

Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment

• Forgetting things more often.
• Forgetting important events such as appointments or social engagements.
• Losing train of thought or thread of conversations, books or movies.
• Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by making decisions, planning steps to accomplish a task or interpreting instructions.
• Starting to have trouble finding your way around familiar environments.
• Changes noticed by family and friends.

Download questionnaire as PDF (430KB)

Reference: Kokmen E, Naessens JM, Offord KP. A short test of mental status: description and preliminary results. Mayo Clinic Proc 1987;62:281-8. Mayo Foundation. [adapted]