The Relationship between Health Literacy and Comfort with Teleneuropsychology in a Veteran Sample

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2022 Feb 23;37(2):292-301. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acab079.


Objective: Health literacy is a strong psychosocial determinant of health disparities and has been found to relate to various aspects of health-related technology use. With the increased implementation of neuropsychological services performed via telehealth during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, the relationship between health literacy and comfort with teleneuropsychology warrants further investigation.

Method: The present study examined 77 Veterans participating in neuropsychological evaluations as a part of standard clinical care. The sample was diverse in terms of age ethnicity, and psychiatric and neurocognitive diagnoses. In addition to a fixed-flexible neuropsychological battery, the Brief Health Literacy Screening Tool (BRIEF) was administered to evaluate health literacy. Self-reported comfort with the teleneuropsychological evaluation was assessed using an informal 10-point scale, and qualitative comfort responses were also recorded.

Results: Independent samples t-tests revealed older adults were more likely to participate in the evaluation via telephone than with VA Video Connect. Although health literacy was not related to telehealth modality, it was correlated with comfort with the teleneuropsychological evaluation (r = .34, p < .01), although it is notable that average comfort levels were high across modalities (M = 8.16, SD = 2.50).

Conclusions: Findings support the notion that teleneuropsychological services may feasibly be implemented with a diverse group of patients, although flexibility with modality may be necessary. Those performing these services should also be aware that patients with lower health literacy may feel less comfortable with teleneuropsychology as they seek to build rapport and optimize evaluation engagement.

Keywords: Assessment; Elderly/Geriatrics/Aging.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19*
  • Health Literacy*
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Veterans*