Mini–Mental State Exam (MMSE)

Norm of Mini–Mental State Exam (MMSE)

Perfect score (normal for clients with twelfth grade or higher education and no cognitive impairment): 30 points.
Cognitive impairment: ≤24 points.


Usage of Mini–Mental State Exam (MMSE)

Detection and tracking of cognitive impairment.


Description of Mini–Mental State Exam (MMSE)

The Mini–Mental State Exam (MMSE) tests for cognitive impairment by evaluating orientation, registration, attention and calculation, recall, and language. The MMSE has demonstrated an 85% specificity and 87% sensitivity for identifying cognitive impairment in hospitalized clients.


Professional Considerations of Mini–Mental State Exam (MMSE)

Consent form NOT required.

  1. Examination may be done at the client's bedside.
  2. Obtain copy of examination and a clipboard.
  3. Observe client's level of consciousness, educational level, visual impairments, and any physician-imposed limitations.



  1. Inform client that a series of questions will be asked. Instruct client to attempt to answer all the questions.


Postprocedure Care

  1. None.


Client and Family Teaching

  1. Retesting should be done after 6 months if score is borderline (23–25 points).


Factors That Affect Results

  1. Clients with less than a fourth-grade education do poorly on the reading and writing portions of this examination but may not be cognitively impaired.
  2. Medical conditions such as reduced vision ability, memory impairment, stroke, and diabetes have been associated with cognitive deterioration.
  3. Better self-care ability is related to better results on the simple processing items (registration, naming, repetition, commanding) and attention/memory functions such as time/place orientation, recall, and attention.


Other Data

  1. None.