[Influence of education on the neuropsychological assessment of the elderly: application and analysis of the results from the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (MDRS)].

Arquivos de neuro-psiquiatria

PubMedID: 15830077

Foss MP, Vale Fde A, Speciali JG. [Influence of education on the neuropsychological assessment of the elderly: application and analysis of the results from the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (MDRS)]. Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2005;63(1):119-26.
OBJECTIVE
To assess the influence of low education and illiteracy on the evaluation of dementia by the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (MDRS).

METHOD
We applied the MDRS to 62 normal elderly subjects (64-77 years), divided into five groups according to schooling, i.e., 15-16 years, 11-12 years, 8-9 years, 4 years, and illiterate. The MDRS covers the study of five subscales and the sum of their scores may represent the degree of cognitive impairment.

RESULTS
A significant difference (p < 0.05) in performance on this scale was observed among the subgroups in relation to education on 12 items, 5 subscales (illiterates < all other groups and 15-16 years > 4 and 8 years of schooling, p < or = 0.001) and the total MDRS score (illiterates < all others and 4 and 8 years < 15-16 years, p < 0.001). No significant correlations where found for age and, regarding gender, the differences were significant in only one item.

CONCLUSION
Education interfered with individual performance on the MDRS. Illiteracy is a determinant factor of lower MDRS scores that could generate diagnostic errors.