Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS)

Used to assess cognitive status in elderly patients and may provide useful information as to whether the patient should be referred for dementia diagnosis investigations.
Inform the resident that you are going to say three words and that he or she needs to remember the words and to repeat them.
Mansbach WE, Mace RA, Clark KM. Differentiating levels of cognitive functioning: a comparison of the Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) and the Brief Cognitive Assessment Tool (BCAT) in a nursing home sample. Aging Ment Health. 2014; 18(7):921-8.
Saliba D, Buchanan J, Edelen MO, Streim J, Ouslander J, Berlowitz D, Chodosh J. MDS 3.0: brief interview for mental status. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2012; 13(7):611-7.

I am going to say three words for you to remember.
Please repeat the words after I have said all three.
The words are: sock, blue, and bed.
Now tell me the three words.
Number of words repeated after first attempt:

Sock, something to wear.
Blue, a color.
Bed, a piece of furniture.
Please tell me what year it is right now.
Able to report correct year:

What month are we in right now?
Able to report correct month:

What day of the week is today?
Able to report correct day of the week:

Let’s go back to the earlier question. What were the three words that I asked to you to repeat?
If unable to remember a word, give cue (“something to wear”, “a color”, “a piece of furniture”) for that word.
Able to recall “sock”

Able to recall “blue”

Able to recall “bed”

The closer the score is to 0, the greater the cognitive impact.

Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, sociology, and philosophy. Buy me a Coffee on Venmo.