The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every corner of our world, and neuropsychology is certainly not immune from its effects. In particular, many neuropsychological clinics have temporarily shut down operations in response to the widespread call for social distancing. With this as the backdrop, we speak with Munro Cullum, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, about teleneuropsychology and telemedicine in general. We distinguish between pre-COVID-19 teleneuropsychological evaluations, conducted in clinics and other controlled environments, and the current push for home-to-home teleneuropsychology. We then dive into the details of teleneuropsychology, including topics such as research evidence for feasibility, reliability, and validity of this methodology, patient acceptability, environmental challenges, patient privacy and informed consent, and trainee clinical hours, among others. Throughout the interview, Dr. Cullum summarizes the current literature and provides advice, tips, and guidance for interested researchers and clinicians.
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- Define basic terminology related to telehealth
- Patient/provider satisfaction with teleneuropsychology as part of typical practice
- Benefits of using telemedicine methodology to complete neuropsychological assessment
- Implementing teleneuropsychology as part of typical practice (e.g., necessary hardware, environment)
- Contemporary research investigating validity and diagnostic accuracy of teleneuropsychological assessment compared to typical neuropsychological assessment
- Utility of shorter test batteries for teleneuropsychological evaluations
- Attempting standardized administration of neuropsychological assessment tools in a virtual environment
- Generalizability of research on teleneuropsychological assessment to clinical populations
- Building rapport virtually
- Feasibility of teleneuropsychological assessment for patients with sensory impairment(s)
- Scoring visuomotor or visuoperceptual tests completed during a teleneuropsychological assessment
- Test security in teleneuropsychological assessment
- Standardized test taking in teleneuropsychological assessment and the use of non-admissible test aids
- Concerns for the completion of teleneuropsychological assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Setting up your test administration environment and minding your screen presence
- Patient safety and other videoconference testing logistics
- Implementing validity testing as part of a teleneuropsychological evaluation
- Breaking standardization: When is it acceptable?
- Considerations for teleneuropsychological evaluation of pediatric populations
- HIPAA-compliant videoconference services to use for teleneuropsychology
- Minding patient safety and security despite relaxed HIPAA regulations
- How does informed consent differ for teleneuropsychological services
- For trainees: supervision for teleneuropsychological services
- For trainees: Training opportunities available during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Computerized testing and teleneuropsychology
- Cultural awareness and responsivity in the implementation of teleneuropsychology
- Bonus questions!
Dr. Munro Cullum is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist who specializes directs the Neuropsychology Program at The University of Texas Southwestern. Dr. Cullum also serves as the Chief of the Division of Psychology and Clinical Core Leader in the UTSW Alzheimer’s Disease Center. He is a past-president of the Society for Clinical Neuropsychology and the National Academy of Neuropsychology and is actively involved in research, teaching, and clinical practice in neuropsychology. In addition to other research areas, he is a pioneer in telemedicine applications of neuropsychology.
Select Academic References
Brearly, T. W., Shura, R. D., Martindale, S. L., Lazowski, R. A., Luxton, D. D., Shenal, B. V., & Rowland, J. A. (2017). Neuropsychological test administration by videoconference: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuropsychology review, 27(2), 174-186.
Castanho, T. C., Sousa, N., & Santos, N. C. (2017). When new technology is an answer for old problems: the use of videoconferencing in cognitive aging assessment. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease reports, 1(1), 15-21.
Cullum, C. M., Hynan, L. S., Grosch, M., Parikh, M., & Weiner, M. F. (2014). Teleneuropsychology: Evidence for video teleconference-based neuropsychological assessment. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 20(10), 1028-1033.
Galusha-Glasscock, J. M., Horton, D. K., Weiner, M. F., & Cullum, C. M. (2016). Video teleconference administration of the repeatable battery for the assessment of neuropsychological status. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 31(1), 8-11.
Grosch, M. C., Gottlieb, M. C., & Cullum, C. M. (2011). Initial practice recommendations for teleneuropsychology. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 25(7), 1119-1133.
Luxton, D. D., Pruitt, L. D., & Osenbach, J. E. (2014). Best practices for remote psychological assessment via telehealth technologies. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 45(1), 27-35.
Parikh, M., Grosch, M. C., Graham, L. L., Hynan, L. S., Weiner, M., Shore, J. H., & Cullum, C. M. (2013). Consumer acceptability of brief videoconference-based neuropsychological assessment in older individuals with and without cognitive impairment. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 27(5), 808-817.
Wadsworth, H. E., Dhima, K., Womack, K. B., Hart Jr, J., Weiner, M. F., Hynan, L. S., & Cullum, C. M. (2018). Validity of teleneuropsychological assessment in older patients with cognitive disorders. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 33(8), 1040-1045.
The APA’s webinar series on telepsychology (free for a limited time)
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Picture of a common teleneuropsychology setup