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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Face-to-face cognitive testing is not always possible in large studies. Therefore, we assessed the telephone Montreal Cognitive Assessment (T-MoCA: MoCA items not requiring pencil and paper or visual stimulus) and the modified Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status (TICSm) against face-to-face cognitive tests in patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke. METHODS: In a population-based study, consecutive community-dwelling patients underwent the MoCA and neuropsychological battery >1 year after TIA or stroke, followed by T-MoCA (22 points) and TICSm (39 points) at least 1 month later. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was diagnosed using modified Petersen criteria and the area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) determined for T-MoCA and TICSm. RESULTS: Ninety-one nondemented subjects completed neuropsychological testing (mean±SD age, 72.9±11.6 years; 54 males; stroke 49%) and 73 had telephone follow-up. MoCA subtest scores for repetition, abstraction, and verbal fluency were significantly worse (P<0.02) by telephone than during face-to-face testing. Reliability of diagnosis for MCI (AUC) were T-MoCA of 0.75 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63-0.87) and TICSm of 0.79 (95% CI, 0.68-0.90) vs face-to-face MoCA of 0.85 (95% CI, 0.76-0.94). Optimal cutoffs were 18 to 19 for T-MoCA and 24 to 25 for TICSm. Reliability of diagnosis for MCI (AUC) was greater when only multi-domain impairment was considered (T-MoCA=0.85; 95% CI, 0.75-0.96 and TICSm=0.83, 95% CI, 0.70-0.96) vs face-to-face MoCA=0.87; 95% CI, 0.76-0.97). CONCLUSIONS: Both T-MoCA and TICSm are feasible and valid telephone tests of cognition after TIA and stroke but perform better in detecting multi-domain vs single-domain impairment. However, T-MoCA is limited in its ability to assess visuoexecutive and complex language tasks compared with face-to-face MoCA.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





227 - 229


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cognition Disorders, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Ischemic Attack, Transient, Male, Neuropsychological Tests, Population Surveillance, Prospective Studies, Quebec, Stroke