Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing (WACHA)


Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment

The Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (KICA) was developed in response to the need for a validated cognitive screening tool for older Indigenous Australians living in rural and remote areas.

The needs for older adults with dementia are complex. The health needs for remote or rurally located Indigenous people with dementia are more complex owing to their location and cultural context. Prior to the development of The Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (KICA) tool the extent of dementia and other cognitive impairment in this group has been hindered due to the lack of an available, culturally sensitive assessment tool. The KICA tool named after where the original research was conducted, comprises of a number of sections and assesses the person and carer. The KICA tool is now widely used remote or rural locations in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.

Using the KICA tool our researchers have documented a serious and previously unrecognized Indigenous health problem that has major implications for future Indigenous health care. The prevalence of dementia amongst Indigenous Australians is substantially higher than in of the general population of developed and developing countries across all age groups (over the age of 45 years).

KICA Tool [ PDF 0.2MB ]


A culturally acceptable depression screening tool is now available for remote living Older Indigenous Australians

Our researchers have adapted a commonly used screening tool Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), by re-wording and translating some of the questions to align with Indigenous cultural norms. It has been specifically validated for older Indigenous people (over 45 years), who live remotely.

Our results have shown that the tool known as ,KICA-Dep, has robust psychometric properties and that the use of the cut-point 7/8 is excellent at discriminating people without depression from those who require further assessment.

We anticipate that this tool will be very useful to medical professionals and others who work with remote Aboriginal Australians. The tool is freely available for use and at no charge.

Click here to download the KICA-Dep

Note about credit - We would appreciate it if you would credit our organisation (WA Centre for Health & Ageing) when you use this tool.

Urban Modified KICA

The original KICA is an instrument to assess dementia in older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in remote settings. The modified tool (KICA Regional Urban) is also available for download and was developed for Urban and Regional Victorian settings, although it should also be appropriate for use in Urban and Regional settings Australia-wide. Also available for download are updated pictures to accompany the modified tool.

Further Information