"Telepsychometry": a remote psychometry consultation in clinical gerontology: preliminary study

Telemed J. 1996 Summer;2(2):145-50. doi: 10.1089/tmj.1.1996.2.145.


Objective: Evaluation of the clinical feasibility of remote psychometric consultation with elderly patients.

Methods: Remote consultation with six women and four men (average age 87) was compared with a standard consultation. An interview and two psychometric tests were used: the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) and the Clock Face Test (CFT), which were administered by a clinical psychologist and controlled by a psychologist observer who remained in the room with the patient. The experimental setting consisted of two rooms linked by a coaxial cable. Each room was equipped with a camera, television screen, and microphone. The clinician was able to operate the mobile camera in the patient's room by remote control. The clinician was assisted by a computer, which helped to focus on standardized points. A video camera recorded the consultation for documentation purposes.

Results: Decreased performance was observed in the remote versus the standard consultation for both tests (MMSE: p = 0.008; CFT: p = 0.006). Physiologic hearing loss may have been responsible for a fall in the patients' attention.

Conclusion: Remote psychometric consultation can be applied successfully to the psychological examination of elderly patients provided that communication problems are solved.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Psychological Tests
  • Remote Consultation*