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The Mini-cog campaign

The Mini-cog campaign seeks to reduce stigma and improve diagnosis through self assessment.

Photo of Daniela Restrepo Ortiz
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it better support family caregivers as they care for a loved one with dementia?

General public of family caregiver units.

With this campaign we want to create awareness about the existence of the Mini-cog, an assessment tool that was created by healthcare professionals to diagnose dementia on an early stage. Family caregivers struggle a lot to find an accurate and emediate diagnosis when visiting doctors so this self assessment method could be very helpful for them. The mini cog doesn’t require an advance level of knowledge of the illness and could be administrated by anyone. We would create a public service announcement for local news groups, family channels and others,that would eventually guide caregivers to the mini cog webpage and to a series of videos and blog posts with explanations as to how to administrate it to a loved one. The page would also provide indications about support groups, and other resources of interest to the caregiver. 

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

The minicog as an assessment tool has already been tested, but the campaign itself has never been experimented before.

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

It would be great to know what other types of campaigns have been done in the past and more importantly what has worked and what hasn’t in order to iterate and refine our idea.

How long has your idea existed?

  • 0-3 months

This idea emerged from

  • An OpenIDEO Outpost or Chapter

Tell us about your work experience:

We are a group of caregivers, designers and researchers that met at the Dementia event in New York City.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Tonia Porras

Hi Daniela,

I have never heard of this. Sounds like a useful tool. What is the research behind the mini-cog's use and effectiveness?

Photo of Molly Oberholtzer

The mini-cog: a cognitive 'vital signs' measure for dementia screening in multi-lingual elderly.

Borson S1, Scanlan J, Brush M, Vitaliano P, Dokmak A.
Author information
The Mini-Cog, a composite of three-item recall and clock drawing, was developed as a brief test for discriminating demented from non-demented persons in a community sample of culturally, linguistically, and educationally heterogeneous older adults.
All 129 who met criteria for probable dementia based on informant interviews and 120 with no history of cognitive decline were included; 124 were non-English speakers.
Sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic value of the Mini-Cog were compared with those of the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) and Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI).
The Mini-Cog had the highest sensitivity (99%) and correctly classified the greatest percentage (96%) of subjects. Moreover, its diagnostic value was not influenced by education or language, while that of the CASI was adversely influenced by low education, and both education and language compromised the diagnostic value of the MMSE. Administration time for the Mini-Cog was 3 minutes vs 7 minutes for the MMSE.
The Mini-Cog required minimal language interpretation and training to administer, and no test forms of scoring modifications were needed to compensate for the extensive linguistic and educational heterogeneity of the sample. Validation in clinical and population-based samples is warranted, as its brevity and ease of administration suggest that the Mini-Cog might be readily incorporated into general practice and senior care settings as a routine 'cognitive vital signs' measure.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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