Details of Montreal Cognitive Assessment Widely Publicized

Some invited readers to self-administer test; search interest in MoCA increased after Trump evaluated.
Some invited readers to self-administer test; search interest in MoCA increased after Trump evaluated.

HealthDay News — Many published news articles included details of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in association with President Trump, some of which invited readers to self-administer the test, according to a research letter published online July 16 in JAMA Neurology.

Hourmazd Haghbayan, MD, from the University of Toronto, and colleagues characterized the reporting on the MoCA in the days immediately after disclosure (January 15 to January 21, 2018) that President Trump had undergone cognitive evaluation, including the MoCA. 

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The researchers identified 405 unique news articles, 190 of which discussed the MoCA in association with President Trump. More than half of these articles (53.7%) included part or all of the MoCA, with 44.2% presenting the questionnaire in its entirety. A total of 8.9% of them presented the answer key, while 17.4% directly invited the reader to self-administer the test. All identifiable versions of the MoCA contained within articles were version 1; other versions were referenced only via hyperlink to the MoCA website. In addition, a Google Trends analysis revealed that search interest in the MoCA increased substantially after the announcement that President Trump had been evaluated.

"It is possible that the MoCA's applicability may be compromised in individuals exposed to its contents via such mainstream media reporting," the authors write.

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