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Cognitive assessments after stroke are typically short form tests developed for dementia that generates pass/fail classifications (e.g. the MoCA). The Oxford Cognitive Screen (OCS) provides a domain-specific cognitive profile designed for stroke survivors. This study compared the use of the MoCA and the OCS in acute stroke with respect to symptom specificity and aspects of clinical utility. A cross-sectional study with a consecutive sample of 200 stroke patients within 3 weeks of stroke completing MoCA and OCS. Demographic data, lesion side and Barthel scores were recorded. Inclusivity was assessed in terms of completion rates and reasons for non-completion were evaluated. The incidence of cognitive impairments on both the MoCA and OCS sub-domains was calculated and differences in stroke specificity, cognitive profiles and independence of the measures were addressed. The incidence of acute cognitive impairment was high: 76% of patients were impaired on MoCA, and 86% demonstrated at least one impairment on the cognitive domains assessed in the OCS. OCS was more sensitive than MoCA overall (87 vs 78% sensitivity) and OCS alone provided domain-specific information on prevalent post-stroke cognitive impairments (neglect, apraxia and reading/writing ability). Unlike the MOCA, the OCS was not dominated by left hemisphere impairments but gave differentiated profiles across the contrasting domains. The OCS detects important cognitive deficits after stroke not assessed in the MoCA, it is inclusive for patients with aphasia and neglect and it is less confounded by co-occurring difficulties in these domains.

Original publication




Journal article


J Neurol

Publication Date





306 - 315


Cognition, Cognitive assessment, Neuropsychology, Stroke