Evid Based Nurs 4:24 doi:10.1136/ebn.4.1.24
  • Assessment

The Hopkins Verbal Learning Test had high sensitivity and good specificity for detecting mild dementia in older people

 QUESTION: Is the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT) a reliable and valid screening test for mild dementia in older people? How does it compare with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)?


Blinded comparison of HVLT and MMSE results with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, fourth edition (DSM-IV) diagnoses of dementia (the diagnostic standard).


The Geriatric Psychiatry Service of the Royal Brisbane Hospital and District Health Service, Australia.


56 patients (mean age 75 y, 63% women, mean education 8.5 y) participated. Exclusion criteria were age <65 years, hearing impairment, aphasia, MMSE score <18, insufficient English, or inability to consent.

Description of tests and diagnostic standard

3 experienced registered nurses blinded to patients' diagnostic status administered the HVLT and the MMSE. The maximum score possible for the HVLT total score was 36 and for the HVLT …

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