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Screening questionnaires

Questionnaires may be used to screen for cognitive impairment. There are benefits to this approach in that questionnaires can often be quicker to administer and more acceptable to clients.

Benefits of screening questionnaires

Screening questionnaires can be convenient because they:

  • Can be incorporated into intake or routine assessment processes
  • Are more naturalistic in their administration and therefore reduce the anxiety often associated with 'being tested'
  • Are generally more familiar and acceptable to clients
  • Generally take less time to complete than a cognitive screening test.
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Examples of screening questionnaires

The Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ) (Broadbent et al 1982) has been well validated and used extensively as a self-report measure of cognitive impairment. It has good coverage of a wide variety of cognitive difficulties that people experience in everyday situations (e.g. forgetting whether you've turned off the stove or locked the door). There are 25 items that are rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale. Download here.

The Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Screening Tool covers eight assessment domains that address the major risk factors for sustaining an ABI. These include history of alcohol use, drug use, assaults, loss of consciousness from motor vehicle accidents, suicide attempts, stroke, psychiatric conditions and amateur/professional boxing. The tool is available from arbias (www.arbias.org.au).

The Neuropsychological Assessment Need Tool (NANT) screens for cognitive impairment from a range of both acquired and non-acquired (e.g. developmental) causes. It comprises 31 yes/no items across six categories. A free online version is available at neurotreatment.com.au/neuropsychological-assessment-need-tool.aspx.

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Qualifications, training and recommended administration

There is no minimum qualification required to administer these tools; the ABI specialist organisation arbias offers training in the use of the ABI Screening Tool, but training is not required for use of the CFQ or NANT. The recommended time for use of screening questionnaires is on entry to a program or service. It's recommended that all clients of a program or service are given a screening questionnaire.

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Find out more

NADA (Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies) (2013b) Brief Guide to Cognitive Impairment Screening and Assessment Tools, NADA: Sydney.

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