Objective: This study aims to evaluate the performance of a Chinese version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) as a screener to detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia from normal cognition in the monolingual Chinese-speaking immigrant population. Method: A cohort of 176 Chinese-speaking older adults from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center Uniform Data Set is used for analysis. We explore the impact of demographic variables on MoCA performance and calculate the optimal cutoffs for the detection of MCI and dementia from normal cognition with appropriate demographic adjustment. Results: MoCA performance is predicted by age and education independent of clinical diagnoses, but not by sex, years of living in the U.S., or primary Chinese dialect spoken (i.e., Mandarin vs. Cantonese). With adjustment and stratification for education and age, we identify optimal cutoff scores to detect MCI and dementia, respectively, in this population. These optimal cutoff scores are different from the established scores for non-Chinese-speaking populations residing in the U.S. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the Chinese version of MoCA is a valid screener to detect cognitive decline in older Chinese-speaking immigrants in the U.S. They also highlight the need for population-based cutoff scores with appropriate considerations for demographic variables.
- Montreal Cognitive Assessment
- emigrants and immigrants
- mild cognitive impairment
- sensitivity and specificity