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Can J Neurol Sci. 2008 Nov;35(5):643-6.

Reliability of the MMSE administered in-person and by telehealth.

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  • 1College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent advances in telehealth have improved access to health care for those in rural areas. It is important that examinations conducted via telehealth are comparable to in-person testing. A rural and remote memory clinic in Saskatoon provided an opportunity to compare scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) administered in-person and via telehealth.

METHODS:

After an initial one day assessment in Saskatoon, patients were seen in follow-up at 6 and 12 weeks. Individual patients were randomly assigned to either in-person follow-up assessment in Saskatoon or telehealth assessment in their home community. Patients who initially received in-person assessments were seen by telehealth for their next follow-up visit and vice-versa. The same neurologist administered MMSEs at all visits. The first 71 patients with both 6 and 12 week follow-up assessments were included in this study. The scores of in-person and telehealth MMSE administrations were compared using the methods of Bland and Altman as well as a paired t-test.

RESULTS:

MMSE scores did not differ significantly between telehealth (22.34 +/- 6.35) and in-person (22.70 +/- 6.51) assessments.

CONCLUSION:

Telehealth provides an acceptable means of assessing mental status of patients in remote areas.

PMID:
19235450
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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