Mental status testing in elderly Hispanic populations: Special concerns

R. K. Mahurin, D. V. Espino, E. B. Holifield

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The rapid growth of the older Hispanic population highlights the importance of accurately assessing the mental status of these individuals. Although several community surveys have reported relatively higher rates of cognitive impairment among older Hispanics, closer analysis has revealed excessive false positives and the underestimation of cognitive functioning. Problems inherent in the mental status testing of this group include the lack of appropriately translated and culturally sensitive instrumentation, the diversity of the population, differences in their educational experiences, and bias in the test-taking situation. Commonly used neuropsychological test batteries have generally been neither translated nor normed for Hispanic subjects. To minimize cultural differences, cross-cultural tests have used nonverbal content; however, nonverbal testing does not, in itself, remove cultural bias. Alternative methods of testing that may reduce bias include performance-based assessment of everyday living skills and measurement of basic psychophysiological responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-399
Number of pages9
JournalPsychopharmacology Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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