Health professionals, people living with dementia and researchers have all contributed to the development of a new cognitive assessment tool, which is now available for free from the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Free-Cog is intended for use in clinical practice. Researchers from the University of Manchester, the University of Cardiff and the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust were involved in the development of the scale, and have gone on to conduct a major study to check its validity, now published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
Free‐Cog was assessed in 25 clinical settings in England, Wales and Scotland, involving 960 patients with clinical diagnoses of dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and normal controls. It was compared to three other cognitive tests routinely administered in clinical practice (the Mini‐Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE)) and correlated well with these.
The authors say the new test was developed because some of the most commonly used cognitive tests are now subject to copyright restrictions (eg the Montreal Cognitive Assessment or MoCA), and no existing scale assesses both executive and cognitive abilities (which this does).