Equivalency of In-Person Versus Remote Assessment: WISC-V and KTEA-3 Performance in Clinically Referred Children and Adolescents

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2022 Sep;28(8):835-844. doi: 10.1017/S1355617721001053. Epub 2021 Sep 27.


Objective: Teletesting has the potential to reduce numerous barriers to patient care which have only become exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although telehealth is commonly utilized throughout medicine and mental health practices, teletesting has remained limited within cognitive and academic evaluations. This may be largely due to concern for the validity of test administration via remote assessment. This cross-sectional study examined the equivalency of cognitive [Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children - Fifth Edition (WISC-V)] and academic [Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement - Third Edition (KTEA-3)] subtests administered via either teletesting or traditional in-person testing within clinically referred youth.

Method: Chart review using a retrospective, cross-sectional design included a total of 893 children and adolescents, ranging from 4 to 17 years (Mean age = 10.2 years, SD = 2.9 years) who were administered at least one subtest from the aforementioned cognitive or academic assessments. Of these, 285 received teletesting, with the remaining (n = 608) receiving in-person assessment. A total of seven subtests (five from the WISC-V and two from the KTEA-3) were examined. A series of inverse probability of exposure weighted (IPEW) linear regression models examined differences between groups for each of the seven subtests after adjustment for numerous demographic, diagnostic, and parent-reported symptom variables.

Results: Only two significant differences were found, such that WISC-V Visual Puzzles (p < .01) and KTEA-3 Math Concepts (p = .03) scores were slightly higher in the teletesting versus in-person groups. However, these differences were quite small in magnitude (WISC-V Visual Puzzles, d = .33, KTEA-3 Math Concepts, d = .18).

Conclusions: Findings indicate equivalency across methods of service delivery without clinically meaningful differences in scores among referred pediatric patients.

Keywords: Academic; Cognitive; Neuropsychology; Pediatric; Telehealth; Telemedicine.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Wechsler Scales