Mini-mental state exam for children (MMC) in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy

ABSTRACT Cognitive impairment is frequent in cerebral palsy (CP) and there is a lack of multiprofessional screening instruments. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the utility of the Mini-Mental State Examination for Children (MMC), an adapted version of the Mini-Mental State Examination, in screening for cognitive impairments in children with CP. METHODS: We assessed 397 Brazilian children, 310 with typical development and 87 with CP (hemiplegic and quadriplegic forms), aged 5-16 years. Association between the MMC and general intelligence was assessed by the Colored Progressive Matrices instrument. RESULTS: Psychometric indexes for the MMC were adequate. ROC analyses revealed effective diagnostic accuracy in all ages assessed. Cut-off values are reported. Major difficulties on the MMC were observed in children with CP, particularly individuals with the quadriplegic form. Moreover, the MMC showed moderate correlation with the intelligence test, and was reliable in discriminating, among clinical cases, those with poorer cognitive abilities. CONCLUSION: The MMC could be useful as a multiprofessional screening instrument for cognitive impairment in children with hemiplegic CP. Results of the MMC in quadriplegic CP children should be interpreted with caution. Diagnosis should be confirmed by further psychological testing.