Dementia screening in Brazil: a systematic review of normative data for the mini-mental state examination
The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is the most widely used instrument for the screening of older adults with suspected cognitive impairment; the MMSE has been translated and validated in numerous languages and countries. The cultural and sociodemographic characteristics of the sample can influence performance on the test; therefore, applying the MMSE in different populations usually requires adjustments of those variables. From this perspective, the present study aims to review the normative data for the MMSE in the Brazilian older population, including those adaptations to the original test. Database searches were performed in Medline, Web of Knowledge, Scielo and Pepsic for articles assessing healthy elderly Brazilian samples using the MMSE. Heterogeneity across and within the studies was analyzed. Of a total of 1,085 retrieved articles, 14 were included. Significant differences across studies were identified for the characteristics of the samples, the presence of alterations to the MMSE subtests and the presentation of the results. The risk of biases was relevant for all the studies. Considering the large methodological heterogeneity among studies, the generalization of the available normative data for the MMSE may not be appropriate for the general elderly Brazilian population.