Testing and Assessment

In supplement of interventions, the documentation calls for providers to consider the unique issues that may arise with testing instruments and assessment approaches when being conducted through technology- based means. This becomes especially pertinent when desired assessment measures were initially designed for F2F administration. As with standards of care for interventions, providers conducting assessments with the use of technology should evaluate the appropriateness of the patient for such procedures. This is especially important for patients with a recognized cognitive, physical, or mental health-related disability, in which the condition can interact with the technology to influence their score, limiting the provider’s assessment of the patient’s true ability (e.g., visual or hearing issues causing delayed performance and subsequent reduced scores). Points of evaluation related to the assessment materials should include the following: the assessment’s procedures (e.g., does it requires manipulatives), if the assessments have been formally adapted for distance administration, if research has been completed on the distance administration, how to adapt the measures while maintaining the core principles of the test’s administration, and the availability of normative data for distance administration. Further consideration should be given to the unique aspects of an online assessment, such as potential speed issues that could cause video or audio lags. Finally, when conducting a distance evaluation, consideration should be given to what the provider must see to ensure proper scoring of the assessment. For example, a provider may require multiple video devices to simultaneously observe the entire patient to monitor their general behavior, while also having a view focused on the patient’s hands to evaluate their performance with manipulatives or written responses.

Informed Consent

Guiding organization documentation emphasizes the requirement of informed consent. Such consent should be conducted prior to the onset of the services, both verbally and in writing, and should be documented in the patient’s medical record. In addition to standard informed consent protocols that are used for one’s general F2F practice, telepsychology- specific informed consent processes should be implemented. The specialized informed consent is recommended to highlight several key aspects unique to the practice including, but not limited to, strength and limitations of the approach, differences between the technology-based method and F2F services, the research associated with the use of the desired technological modality, unique challenges with emergency situations and means of managing, methods of troubleshooting issues, and differences in billing for services. All information should be provided to the patient in language that is easily understandable for their developmental level and culture.

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