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

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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' …

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  • Source of funding: not stated.

  • For correspondence:Dr G Byrne, Department of Psychiatry, University of Queensland, K Floor, Mental Health Centre, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Queensland 4029, Australia. Fax +61 7 3365 5488.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in Evidence-Based Medicine.