Introduction: The Saint Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) examination is a common screening instrument to detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Western countries. However, further work is needed to identify optimal SLUMS cutoff scores for screening MCI and dementia in Chinese populations. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility and diagnostic accuracy of the SLUMS examination in the diagnosis of dementia and MCI in Chinese population. Methods: A cross-sectional multicenter design was conducted. Patients were recruited from the outpatient department of our neurology and psychiatric clinics. The establishment of the gold standard for the SLUMS-Chinese version (SLUMS-C) to detect MCI and dementia was based on the clinical criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5) and related neuropsychological testing conducted by 3 certified dementia specialists. The consistency of the diagnosis process and administering SLUMS-C were established prior to the beginning of the study. Data were analyzed, and sensitivity, specificity, and areas under the curve (AUCs) were calculated. Results: A total of 367 subjects were recruited. The SLUMS-C did not show satisfactory AUCs for the preliminary detection of normal cognitive status and MCI by different educational levels (all AUC 0.32-0.54). However, the SLUMS-C showed acceptable AUCs for the preliminary detection of dementia by different educational levels (all AUC 0.78-0.81). An educational level of senior high school showed the best cutoff, sensitivity, and specificity. The SLUMS-C scores to detect dementia for individuals with at least high school education and less than high school education were <24 and 22, respectively. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the SLUMS-C could be a beneficial and convenient screening instrument to detect dementia in Chinese population. After community screening, a comprehensive clinical evaluation including cognitive assessment, functional status, corroborative history, and imaging confirmation is needed.
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