Letters MMSE copyright

A copyright-free alternative to the mini-mental state examination is needed

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8589 (Published 21 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8589

Re: A copyright-free alternative to the mini-mental state examination is needed

Experienced clinicians ought to be able to learn the MMSE by heart and should not have to rely on printed copies of the test. If the MMSE is recited from memory it becomes a procedure which cannot be subject to copyright.

It is also worth noting that none of the components of the MMSE are actually original in themselves: questions on orientation to time and place, recall, serial sevens, sentence repetition all appeared in cognitive tests predating the MMSE and the interlocking pentagons are derived from a predating Bender-Gestalt figure.

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 January 2013
Patrick S G Chance
Consultant Psychiatrist
Aneurin Bevan Health Board
St Cadoc's Hospital, Caerleon, Newport NP18 3XQ
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