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J Telemed Telecare. 2000;6(3):147-51.

The consistency of neuropsychological assessments performed via telecommunication and face to face.

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  • 1Clinical Psychology Department, Highland Primary Care NHS Trust, Inverness, UK.


Previous studies have suggested that cognitive assessments of adult psychiatric patients can be carried out as reliably via teleconsultation as they can face to face. However, the designs of these studies have often been less than satisfactory. The present study used videoconferencing at 128 kbit/s for the cognitive assessment of individuals with a history of alcohol abuse. Twenty-seven participants were given a range of assessments with two equivalent forms. One of the forms was given via videoconferencing and the other face to face. All participants were assessed using both media and the order of presentation was balanced across participants. Aspects of participant satisfaction with teleconsultations were also assessed, on 10-point scales. The teleconsultations were significantly longer (mean 40.7 min, SD 6.4) than the face-to-face sessions (mean 33.0 min, SD 5.3). For most of the outcome measures, cognitive assessment via teleconsultation produced similar results to face-to-face assessment. Most participants expressed high overall satisfaction with the teleconsultation (mean rating 8.2). The average ratings for the sound quality (mean 7.6) and visual quality of the equipment (mean 7.9) were also high. The findings imply that it is not necessary for patients and neuropsychologists to be present at the same location for cognitive assessments to be carried out.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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