Examining the Clinical Utility of the Brief Interview for Mental Status

Chih Ying Li, Paul Arthur, Brian Downer, Craig A. Velozo, Yong Fang Kuo, Huey Ming Tzeng, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) is used to identify delirium and needed supports in patients living in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and long-term care facilities (LTCFs). We analyzed 3,537,404 patients discharged from acute hospitals to SNFs or LTCFs with factor and Rasch analyses to examine the clinical utility of the BIMS. More than 40% of the sample had maximum scores, indicat-ing a ceiling effect. “Repetition of three words” was the easiest and the only misfit item (Outfit = 3.14). The ability of the BIMS to distinguish individuals into two cognitive levels (with person strata of 1.48) was limited. Although the BIMS is a widely used screening tool for cognitive impairment, we found it lacked sensitivity for approximately one half of patients admitted to SNFs/LTCFs. Our results suggest the BIMS should be interpreted with caution, particularly for patients with mild cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-130
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Gerontological Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Gerontology
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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