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Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS)
The TICS is available from the Psychological Assessment Resources (PAR). For additional information, please visit: Telephone Interview For Cognitive Status.
NeuroRehab Supplemental - Highly Recommended
Recommendations for Use: Indicated for studies requiring a cognitive screening measure for remote administration.
Supplemental: Stroke
Exploratory: Unruptured Cerebral Aneurysm and Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SAH)
Short Description of Instrument
The Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS) is a brief, standardized test of cognitive functioning that was developed for use in situations where in-person cognitive screening is impractical or inefficient (e.g., large-scale population screening, epidemiological surveys, with patients who are unable to appear in person for clinical follow-up). It is also helpful in the diagnosis of documenting progressive impairment, and might also identify incident disease in research populations.
The TICS is designed to be administered using the telephone, however, it also may be administered face-to-face. The TICS is particularly useful for examining visually impaired individuals and individuals who are unable to read or write, since it does not require vision.
The TICS is very brief and tests many of the basic cognitive functions affected by dementia. Its 11-items assess orientation to time and place, receptive and expressive language functions, immediate verbal memory, calculation, and verbal abstraction. It successfully differentiates carefully diagnosed Alzheimer's disease patients from healthy spouse controls and demonstrates high test-retest reliability in these populations.
The test usually takes 10-15 minutes to administer and score.
Comments/Special Instructions
The TICS has a modified version, TIC-m, which eliminates items that are difficult to verify in epidemiological studies, and also includes a delayed recall procedure in an attempt to increase sensitivity.
Before administering the telephone interview, the examiner must speak with someone at the same location (e.g., family member, caregiver) who will serve as a proctor to ensure that the environment is appropriate for testing and that the examinee is able to hear spoken language at a spoken volume. All examinee responses are recorded verbatim.
Scoring and Psychometric Properties
Scoring: The individual item scores are summed to obtain the TICS Total score, ranging from 0-41.
Psychometric Properties: The TICS has a high test-retest reliability and excellent sensitivity and specificity for the detection of  cognitive impairment. Among elderly populations, TICS scores approximate a normal distribution and are not subject to the ceiling effects that limit the usefulness of many mental status examinations.
The TICS has been used as a neurocognitive screening tool in large-scale SAH studies such as the International Study of Unruptured Intracranial
Aneurysms (ISUIA) and institutional protocols (e.g., by the Columbia group). While neuropsychological outcome is best tested in a face-to-face interview, telephone-based assessments might be the only feasible assessment, depending on the type of study.
Barber M, Stott DJ. Validity of the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS) in post-stroke subjects. Int J Geriatr Psych. 2004;19(11):75-79.
Brandt J. (2010). Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status™ (TICS™). PAR. Click here for the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status™ website.
Desmond DW, Tatemichi TK, Hanzawa L. The Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS): Reliability and validity in a stroke sample. Int J Geriatr Psych. 1994;9(10):803-807.
Plassman BL, Newman TT, Welsh KA, Helms M, Breitner JCS. Properties of the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status: application in epidemiological and longitudinal studies. Neuropsych Neuropsychol Behav Neurol. 1994;7:235-241.
Springer MV, Schmidt JM, Wartenberg KE, Frontera JA, Badjatia N, Mayer SA. Predictors of global cognitive impairment 1 year after subarachnoid hemorrhage. Neurosurgery. 2009;65(6):1043-1050.
Welsh KA, Breitner JCS, Magruder-Habib KM. Detection of dementia in the elderly using telephone screening of cognitive status Neuropsych Neuropsychol Behav Neurol. 1993;6:103-110.
Document last updated January 2022