The aims of this study were to identify the most important diagnostic questions that warrant assessment in psychogeriatric patients and to select and validate objective screening procedures for those areas. Four areas were identified by surveying the records of 87 psychogeriatric patients: organicity, depression, prognosis, and global psychopathology. Relevant assessment instruments, selected on the basis of a comprehensive literature survey, were administered to 61 psychogeriatric inpatients, and criterion ratings were obtained in each of the four diagnostic areas. The Mental Status Questionnaire correlated - .87 with the organicity criterion and also showed the highest correlations with the other three criterion variables. A canonical correlation analysis showed that the organicity and depression criteria could be reliably separated by the predictors, and multiple regression analysis showed that each could be reliably predicted independently. It is noted that the population studied was largely chronic in nature, so that the findings are not necessarily applicable to other kinds of settings.
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