DementiaRoadmap Wales

Promoting living well with dementia across Wales

Six Item Cognitive Impairment Test

May 12 2014

The Six Item Cognitive Impairment Test (6CIT) is a brief cognitive function test which takes less than five minutes and is widely used in primary care settings.

It involves three orientation items – counting backwards from 20, stating the months of the year in reverse and learning an address.

6CIT correlates highly with the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) [1], which is copyrighted, and now incurs a cost for each use. Some researchers suggest that the 6CIT has advantages over the MMSE in hospitals settings [2].

It shows good sensitivity for detecting mild dementia as well being culturally unbiased. However, validation data is limited.

Access the Kingshill Version 2000® of the 6CIT test online at


  1. Brooke P, Bullock R; Validation of a 6 item cognitive impairment test with a view to primary care usage. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1999 Nov;14(11):936-40.
  2. Tuijl, J.P. et al (2012). Screening for cognitive impairment in older general hospital patients: comparison of the Six-Item Cognitive Impairment Test with the Mini-Mental State Examination. International journal of geriatric psychiatry. 2012 Jul;27(7):755-62. doi: 10.1002/gps.2776. Epub 2011 Aug 27.

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