Association between older adults’ functional performance and their scores on the mini mental state examination (MMSE) and montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA)

Sze Tim Sonia Yu, Mong-Lin Yu, Ted Brown, Hanna Andrews

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The paper aims to investigate if the performance of older adults on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) were associated or predictive of their functional performance in a geriatric evaluation and management (GEM) inpatient hospital setting. This will inform the occupational therapy assessment and management of older adults admitted to sub-acute GEM settings. Design/methodology/approach – In all, 20 participants (11 men, 9 women, mean age 82 years, SD = 6.93) were recruited from a GEM ward in an Australian hospital. Participants’ cognitive abilities were assessed using the MMSE and MoCA, and their functional performance were assessed using the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). Spearman’s rho correlations and linear regression analyses were completed. Bootstrapping was applied to the regression analyses to accommodate the small study sample size. Findings – No statistically significant correlations were obtained between the total and subscale scores of the MMSE and FIM or between the total and subscale scores of the MoCA and FIM. In other words, the cognitive and functional abilities of older adults admitted to a GEM setting were not significantly associated in this study. Originality/value – The findings suggest that the MoCA and the MMSE were not predictive of participants’ functional performance as measure by the FIM in a sub-acute GEM setting. Occupational therapists should be cautious when interpreting participants’ MMSE, MoCA and FIM results and not depend solely on these results in the goal setting and intervention planning processes for clients on GEM wards. Further studies are recommended to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-23
Number of pages20
JournalIrish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2018


  • Assessment
  • Cognition
  • Older adults
  • Occupational therapy
  • Function
  • Occupational performance

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