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The 3D's of Cognitive Impairment: An interactive card-sorting exercise

The 3D's of Cognitive Impairment: An interactive card-sorting exercise

University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
Maria H van Zuilen, MPH, Michael Mintzer, MPH, Miguel Paniagua, MPH, Roland J. Pua, MPH, Ivan Silver, MPH
Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
National Institute on Aging
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Ok Peer reviewed Peer reviewed

The activity involves an interactive and cooperative card-sorting exercise that provides an opportunity for participants in a small group to test their knowledge of a group of diagnoses that may have elements of their presentation, diagnosis, and/or treatment that may be closely related or controversial. A good example, illustrated in this activity, is that of cognitive impairment: delirium, depression and dementia.

Educational objectives: 
  1. Given a series of terms (phrases), the student will distinguish between delirium, dementia, and depression by placing the appropriate cards into their designated category.
  2. The student will sort a series of terms (phrases) into the appropriate categories.
  3. The student will explain their rationale for placing their cards into the specific categories.
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Already Expired Email Date: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 4:23pm
Already Expired Email 1 month date: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 1:33am
Expired Email Date: 
Friday, March 30, 2018 - 7:21am
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:
Dr. Miguel Paniagua

Suggested Citation:
Dr. Miguel Paniagua, Maria H van Zuilen, Roland J. Pua, Michael Mintzer and Ivan Silver. The 3D's of Cognitive Impairment: An interactive card-sorting exercise. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2009 Available from:


Submitted by kayanin on

I've used this card sort in several different settings and found it to be effective, educational and entertaining. Even though the authors recommend its use in small groups, I've found that it works well in larger groups too. I've used it twice in a lecture hall with a group of 40 pharmacy students and it kept them engaged and attentive throughout.

Submitted by lachh on

I used this in an online course for nurse practitioner students- I set up a WIKI and on the main page I assigned students a set of symptoms/features.  They had to add them to their choice of "D" on other wiki pages, and give a brief rationale for their choice.  They could challenge other student's choices if they thought they were wrong.  Adds some variety to the activities for online students!