Administering the WAIS-IV using a home-based telehealth videoconferencing model
Introduction: There are a number of barriers to accessing neuropsychological assessment, including a shortage of neuropsychologists, long wait times and need to travel, particularly for those residing in rural areas. Teleneuropsychology (TNP) may offer an alternative service model to address those barriers. To date no research has examined reliability of home-based assessment models using a comprehensive battery, generating an overall cognitive composite score. The aim of this study was to examine the reliability and feasibility of a home-based videoconferencing administration of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales-4th Edition (WAIS-IV).
Methods: Thirty healthy adult participants (aged 18 to 40 years) completed the WAIS-IV in person and via home-based videoconferencing utilising a randomized counter-balanced methodology. Paper record forms for Coding/Symbol Search and Blocks were sent and returned via tamper proof courier packs. Participants completed an online survey of their experiences of TNP following completion of their assessments.
Results: Data was analysed using SPSS software examining group mean comparisons, intraclass correlation coefficients and Bland-Altman measures of bias. Findings from both modalities were highly concordant across all WAIS-IV subtests and indices, with all Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICC’s) rated as “excellent,” (≥ 0.9), there were no significant mean group differences and there was no evidence of proportional bias. The majority of participants were very satisfied with the use of videoconferencing as an application for cognitive assessment and high levels of participant compliance were obtained.
Discussion: In this non-clinical cohort videoconference administration of the WAIS-IV was reliable and acceptable. Videoconferencing may offer an alternative for those consumers where there are challenges in accessing a face-to-face service delivery model, thereby improving equity, and enabling continuation of service delivery.