The Hidden Poignancy of the MMSE


The MMSE or Mini Mental State Exam is a 30-question exam that asks very basic questions and is designed to screen for cognitive impairment. I did a lot of them while I was doing a 3 month fieldwork as a Level II OT Student in a geriatric psychiatric ward in Tennessee back in 2009.

If you want to read a little more about it, I linked to the Wikipedia (I know, I know, poor source…sue me…I skimmed through it, good enough)

What I recall most about this exam is the poignancy of the responses when I would ask them to write me a sentence, any sentence they wanted. I wish now I had saved more of them. Some wrote things like “You are so pretty.” Or “When will I get better?” or “I want to leave.” or simply “Write a sentence.” This particular lady wrote “I wish and pray to the Good Lord I go get better” I seem to recall quite a few writing to the Lord to get better. It was always the sentence they wrote that was the most revealing to me as to their inner thoughts.

Feb 05, 2013 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

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