Wednesday, June 15, 2011


While most of my limited experience has been with children I recently wrapped up an externship at a subacute rehab facility. I had many new experiences there and learned a great deal. However, I feel like one of the most practical things I walked away with was my exposure to the Saint Louis University Mental Status Examination (SLUMS). The SLUMS is a screener for dementia. It is now often being used in place of the Mini Mental Status Examination. While at a Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama conference I had the pleasure of hearing Teepa Snow (a dementia expert) speak and she included the SLUMS in her presentation.  I must say I felt like a star student because I knew what she was talking about! (P.S. If you ever have the chance to hear Teepa speak - DO IT! She is an incredibly dynamic speaker and you will NOT be sorry!)
To download the SLUMS and print it off go here (or just Google the SLUMS examination test).
To download the instructions go here.
The SLUMS is easy to administer (obviously if I can do it!) and it consists of 11 questions. The creators say it takes about seven minutes to give, however, in my experience it usually takes a little longer but mostly it depends on the patient. Another reason that I really like this test is that it has separate scores based on the patient’s highest level of education.
Some of the minor adjustments I make when administering the test include drawing a big circle on the back of the page for the client to draw their clock (for question #9). The test provides a small circle for the patient to fill in; however I don’t think that it is very practical for elderly people who have trouble seeing in the first place. Also, I repeat the memory objects in item #4 at least twice. I am aware that the test was not normed this way; however these are some suggestions that helped me to give the test in real life situations.
Here’s a quick view!

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