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Mental status tests
Alternative namesMental status tests are used to objectively assess mental function.
How the test is performedOrientation:
Your health care provider will ask you all or some of the following questions:
How to prepare for the testNo preparation is necessary for this test. All responses should be natural, spontaneous, and honest. Preparation, especially by a highly intelligent person, could distort the results of the test by making it appear that cognitive function has not diminished when, in fact, it actually has.
How the test will feelThere is no physical discomfort.
Why the test is performedThese tests are screening tools for cognitive impairment, and supply your health care provider with an objective measure of improvement or deterioration.
What abnormal results meanOrientation:
Typically, orientation is first lost to time, then place, then person. There are many possible causes for disorientation:
If you are unable to complete a thought, or are easily distracted by other stimuli , you may have an abnormal attention span. This may have a number of causes. A few examples are:
Recent and Remote Memory:
Word Comprehension, Reading, and Writing:
We exercise judgment in all of our daily activities, and the ability to determine an appropriate course of action is vital to survival in many situations. The following are some causes of impaired judgment:
What the risks are
There are no risks associated with cognitive tests.
Some tests that screen for aphasia (problems with language due to brain dysfunction), such as those involving reading or writing, do not account for people that may never have been able to read or write. If you know that the person to be tested has never been able to read or write, notify the health care provider in advance.
If your child is having any of these tests performed, it is important to help him or her understand the reasons for the tests.
Update Date: 1/25/2003David Taylor, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT