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



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.


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.


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


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

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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