Psychiatry Investig.  2018 Sep;15(9):839-842. 10.30773/pi.2018.05.22.

Modified Criteria for Diagnosing “Cognitive Frailty”

  • 1Elderly Frailty Research Center, Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Family Medicine, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 4College of Medicine/East-West Medical Research Institute, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 5Gerontology Research Programme, Department of Psychological Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Republic of Korea.


The concept of cognitive frailty has recently been proposed by an International Consensus Group as the presence of physical frailty and cognitive impairment [defined using the Clinical Dementia Ratings (CDR)=0.5], without concurrent dementia. However, CDR is difficult to implement and not often available in epidemiologic studies or busy clinical settings, and an alternative to CDR is required. We suggest an alternative definition of cognitive frailty as: 1) physical frailty, 2) more than 1.5 standard deviation below the mean for age-, gender-, and education-adjusted norms on any cognitive function test (e.g., the Montreal Cognitive assessment test, the Alzheimer's disease assessment scale-cognitive subscale, verbal learning test, Digit Span, Boston Naming Test, Trail Making Test, and Frontal Assessment Battery), and 3) no dependency in instrumental activities of daily living. The redefined criteria for cognitive frailty would be more feasible to implement and thus more applicable in epidemiologic studies and busy clinical settings.


Frailty; Cognitive frailty; Mild cognitive impairment; Instrumental activities of daily living

MeSH Terms

Activities of Daily Living
Cognition Disorders
Epidemiologic Studies
Mild Cognitive Impairment
Trail Making Test
Verbal Learning
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