Examining cognitive functioning of adult acute psychiatric inpatients through a brief screening assessment.

Objective: Psychiatric inpatients present with multiple difficulties, including comorbid diagnoses, social problems, trauma, and high levels of psychiatric medication use. All of these factors have been associated with poorer cognitive functioning, which is rarely assessed. The aim of this study was to examine the acceptability of a brief cognitive screening assessment, and identify the cognitive and psychological profile of current psychiatric inpatients. Method: A cross-sectional design was adopted. Participants (N = 75) were administered brief measures of cognitive functioning, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA; Nasreddine et al., 2005), and psychological global distress, Clinical Outcomes of Routine Evaluation—Outcome Measure, (CORE-OM; Evans et al., 2002) within the first 4 weeks of their hospital admissions. Results: The MoCA was identified as acceptable for the inpatient environment. Most of the participants (79%) met the cut-off for mild cognitive impairment. No significant differences were found across diagnoses in regard to cognitive functioning, but participants with diagnoses of personality disorder experienced the most psychological global distress. Conclusion and Implications for Practice: Acute psychiatric inpatient wards should consider mild cognitive impairments when assessing and treating people with serious mental illness and make appropriate adaptations to their care. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)