General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG) Score

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PatientPlus articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use, so you may find the language more technical than the condition leaflets.

This test was designed as a GP screening tool for dementia.[1] See also separate Screening for Cognitive Impairment article.

There are two components: a cognitive assessment conducted with the patient, and an informant questionnaire (only considered necessary if the results of the cognitive section are equivocal, ie score 5-8 inclusive).

Results >8 or <5 on the GPCOG patient section were assumed to be cognitively intact or impaired, respectively. For patients requiring an informant questionnaire, a score of 3 or less out of 6 in this section indicates cognitive impairment.[2]

General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG)
GPCOG Patient Examination
Unless specified, each question should only be asked once.
Name and address for subsequent recall
"I am going to give you a name and address. After I have said it, I want you to repeat it. Remember this name and address because I am going to ask you to tell it to me again in a few minutes: John Brown, 42 West Street, Kensington"

(Allow a maximum of 4 attempts but do not score yet)
Time Orientation
What is the date? (accept exact only)
Clock Drawing (visuospatial functioning) use a paper with a printed circle.
Please mark in all the numbers to indicate the hours of a clock (correct spacing required).
For a correct response (above), the numbers 12, 3, 6, and 9 should be in the correct quadrants of the circle
and the other numbers should be approximately correctly placed.
Please mark in hands to show 10 minutes past eleven o'clock (11:10).
For a correct response (above), the hands should be pointing to the 11 and the 2,
but do not penalise if the respondent fails to distinguish the long and short hands.
Can you tell me something that happened in the news recently? (recently = in the last week)
Respondents are not required to provide extensive details, as long as they demonstrate awareness of a recent news story.
If a general answer is given, such as "war", "a lot of rain", ask for details.
If unable to give details, the answer should be scored as incorrect.
What was the name and address I asked you to remember?
Score for each of the 5 components - John, Brown, 42, West Street, Kensington.
  GPCOG Patient Score =  /9

GPCOG Informant Interview
Ask the informant: "Compared to a few years ago"
Does the patient have more trouble remembering things that have happened recently?
Does he or she have more trouble recalling conversations a few days later?
When speaking, does the patient have more difficulty in finding the right word or tend to use the wrong words more often?
Is the patient less able to manage money and financial affairs (eg, paying bills, budgeting)?
Is the patient less able to manage his or her medication independently?
Does the patient need more assistance with transport (either private or public)?
Score 1 point for each "no" answer.
  Informant Score =  /6
Combined (overall) score =  /15Overall

This calculator has been reproduced from Brodaty H, Pond D, Kemp NM, et al; The GPCOG: a new screening test for dementia designed for general practice. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 Mar;50(3):530-4. ©2002 Reproduced with permission of John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Further reading & references

  1. Brodaty H, Pond D, Kemp NM, et al; The GPCOG: a new screening test for dementia designed for general practice. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 Mar;50(3):530-4.
  2. Brodaty H, Kemp NM, Low LF; Characteristics of the GPCOG, a screening tool for cognitive impairment. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2004 Sep;19(9):870-4.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Dr Huw Thomas
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Colin Tidy
Document ID:
9340 (v4)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
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