Mild cognitive impairment, screening, and patient perceptions in heart failure patients

Robyn Gallagher, Anne Sullivan, Rhonda Burke, Susan Hales, Geraldine Gillies, Jan Cameron, Bernard Saliba, Geoffrey Tofler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Cognitive impairments are prevalent in heart failure (HF) patients, worsening outcomes but often undetected.The aim of this study was to screen HF outpatients for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), determine the areas of cognition affected, patient awareness of cognitive change, and associated factors. Method and Results HF patients (n = 128) newly registered for the Management of Cardiac Function program, free from neurocognitive disorder, and with sufficient visual acuity were assessed with the use of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment tool (MoCA). MCI was classified as MoCA score ≤22. The sample was elderly (mean, 80.65 years; SD, 11.52). Mean MoCA score was 24.58 (SD 3.45), 22% were classified as impaired, 45% had noticed a change in cognition, and 15% reported that they were affected in their daily lives. Patients noticing this impact had lower MoCA scores (22.74, SD 3.0) than those who did not (25.17, SD 2.96; P ≤.02). Most impairments occurred for delayed recall, visuospatial/executive function, and abstraction. The odds of impairment increased by the presence of ischemic heart disease (odds ratio, 4.18; 95% confidence interval, 1.15-15.69). Conclusions In HF outpatients without a dementia diagnosis, MCI is prevalent. Screening for MCI and incorporation of compensatory strategies are essential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-646
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • awareness
  • Cognitive impairment
  • comorbidity
  • screening heart failure

Cite this

Gallagher, R., Sullivan, A., Burke, R., Hales, S., Gillies, G., Cameron, J., Saliba, B., & Tofler, G. (2013). Mild cognitive impairment, screening, and patient perceptions in heart failure patients. Journal of Cardiac Failure, 19(9), 641-646.