Performance of Secondary School Students in Maiduguri, Nigeria in the Community Screening Instrument for Dementia

  • F Salawu
  • A Danburam
  • O Beida
  • A Olokoba


Intellectual impairment is a devastating complication of many diseases, the consequences of which are far-reaching, particularly for young people in their most productive years. Limited data exists on the impact of cognitive impairment among young Nigerians; hence, this cross-sectional study set out to determine whether there are differences in the performance of normal Nigerian students on the Community Screening Instrument for Dementia (CSI-D) and whether such differences if any could be explained by age or educational attainment. The CSI-D was administered to a stratified simple random sample of one hundred and forty three normal students from a secondary school in Maiduguri, Nigeria to assess language, memory, registration, attention and calculation, recall, praxis and orientation. To estimate the degree of dysfunction in the study population, we choose a definition of neuropsychological impairment that was a function of each subject's cognitive test scores. Impairment was operationally defined by at least one score two standard deviations below the normative mean for a given test or two or more test scores at least one standard deviation below the mean. While a high prevalence (41.3%) of cognitive deficits was found using a generous criterion and obviously, the use of a more conservative definition of impairment lowered the number of cases identified as impaired to 16.1%. As expected, education as expressed in years of school attendance was positively correlated with higher scoring in total CSI-D. There was positive correlation between age in years and total CSI-D scores. Only one student (0.7%) scored 63 out of 63 total marks of the CSI-D. All the students obtained full scores with registration domain of the CSI-D. Abnormalities on the CSI-D in secondary school students should be interpreted with caution as the two criteria for abnormality scores yielded markedly different estimates of impairment.

Keywords: Cognition, Community Screening Instrument for Dementia, Students, Nigeria