Document Type



Doctor of Nursing Practice



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Anne Thatcher


Cathy Koetting


Jennifer Becker


Problem: Mild Neurocognitive Disorder (MNCD) and dementia remain one of the most common debilitating problems facing the elderly. The Saint Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) Exam is a screening questionnaire to assess for MNCD or dementia. With the utilization of the SLUMS, clinicians can detect cognitive impairment and provide early intervention resulting in improved function and delayed progression of illness. The aim of this project was to increase the rate of SLUMS completion by at least 75% at a long-term care facility in a rural Midwestern state and to assess changes in diagnoses and treatment plans resulting from use of this screening tool.

Methods: A prospective record review containing quantitative, descriptive data was used for this quality improvement (QI) project evaluating rates of SLUMS completion, changes in diagnoses, and changes in treatment plans resulting from this screening.

Results: Of the 75 residents eligible for SLUMS screening, 41.33% had a diagnosis of dementia or MNCD prior to implementation and 74.67% had one of these diagnoses after screening. Utilizing the SLUMS increased detection of MNCD or dementia by 33.34 %, and 34.7% of residents started on medications to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s related dementia.

Discussion: The increase in SLUMS screenings helped to identify early signs of cognitive impairment and establish prompt treatment planning, including medication adjustments. This project identified a clinically significant impact by using SLUMS screening and supports the need to establish annual SLUMS screening to detect cognitive decline at all long-term care facilities in this area.