Neuropsychological Test Administration by Videoconference: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
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The purpose of the current systematic review and meta-analysis was to assess the effect of videoconference administration on adult neurocognitive tests. We investigated whether the scores acquired during a videoconference administration were different from those acquired during on-site administration. Relevant counterbalanced crossover studies were identified according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Twelve studies met criteria for analysis. Included samples consisted of healthy adults as well as those with psychiatric or neurocognitive disorders, with mean ages ranging from 34 to 88 years. Heterogenous data precluded the interpretation of a summary effect for videoconference administration. Studies including particpants with a mean age of 65–75, as well as studies that utilized a high speed network connection, indicated consistent performance across videoconference and on-site conditions, however studies with older participants and slower connections were more variable. Subgroup analyses indicated that videoconference scores for untimed tasks and those allowing for repetition fell 1/10th of a standard deviation below on-site scores. Test specific analyses indicated that verbally-mediated tasks including digit span, verbal fluency, and list learning were not affected by videoconference administration. Scores for the Boston Naming Test fell 1/10th of a standard deviation below on-site scores. Heterogenous data precluded meaningful interpretation of tasks with a motor component. The administration of verbally-mediated tasks by qualified professionals using existing norms was supported, and the use of visually-dependent tasks may also be considered. Variability in previous studies indicates a need for further investigation of motor-dependent tasks. We recommend the development of clinical best practices for conducting neuropsychological assessments via videoconference, and advocate for reimbursement structures that allow consumers to benefit from the increased access, convenience, and cost-savings that remote assessment provides.
KeywordsTeleneuropsychology Telepsychology Telehealth Telemedicine Mhealth Assessment
This research was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness, Research, and Treatment and the Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (VISN 6 MIRECC) of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health Services. Special thanks to Larry A. Tupler for his support of this and other related teleneuropsychology investigations within the VISN 6 MIRECC.
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