The tele-assessment of cognitive state: a review

J Telemed Telecare. 1997;3(3):126-31. doi: 10.1258/1357633971931020.


The telephone is used by all mental health professionals and many of their clients. Despite this, the telephone has been formally evaluated only occasionally. This paper reviews the literature on cognitive testing by telephone and by videoconferencing, and summarizes the different strategies employed to do this task. There remain weaknesses in the use of the telephone for cognitive testing but it could certainly be used more extensively in both clinical work and research, although the choice of test must be made with a clear view of what the assessment is designed to achieve and the limitations of the assessment instrument itself. Assessment by videoconferencing remains at an early stage of development, with much work to be done before it can be routinely employed as a clinical tool. However, videoconferencing shows promise for the future because it allows a much wider range of assessment than the telephone.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Remote Consultation / methods*
  • Telephone*