In a recently published article in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, ADRC investigator, Effie M. Mitsis, Ph.D. discovered that testing elderly people’s cognitive skills by telephone is generally as effective as in-person testing. The study divided a cohort of 54 healthy women participants with an average age of 79 into two groups. The participants were given standard cognition tests, including mental status questions such as identifying the day and remembering a series of words.
The study found telephone and in-person assessment to be comparable, suggesting that telephone assessment may be a useful, cost-effective and time efficient alternative to in-person assessment of cognition in the elderly. Dr. Mitsis concluded, “Although telephone assessment is not a substitute for in-person assessment as conducted by neuropsychologists, many elderly patients don’t have the resources to access a neuropsychologist or ability to spend hours getting to the doctor’s office or clinic to receive an evaluation, especially one that would potentially be conducted every few months should that person decide to participate in a clinical trial.”