How Teleassessment Can Benefit Pediatric Clients
Teleassessment is the use of telecommunication technology to conduct psychological or educational assessments remotely. It can be a convenient and effective way to provide services to children and adolescents who may not have access to in-person testing due to various reasons, such as distance, health, or safety. In this blog post, we will explore some of the benefits of teleassessment for pediatric clients and their families.
Increased Access and Flexibility
One of the main advantages of teleassessment is that it can increase access to specialized services for children and adolescents who live in rural or remote areas, or who face barriers such as transportation, mobility, or scheduling issues. Teleassessment can also offer more flexibility in terms of the timing and frequency of the sessions, as well as the choice of the testing environment. For example, some children may feel more comfortable and perform better in their own home than in an unfamiliar clinic.
Reduced Cost and Stress
Another benefit of teleassessment is that it can reduce the cost and stress associated with traveling to and from the testing site, especially for families who live far away or have multiple children who need assessment. Teleassessment can also save time and resources for both the clients and the clinicians, as they do not have to deal with traffic, parking, or waiting rooms. Furthermore, teleassessment can reduce the risk of exposure to infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, which can be especially important for children with compromised immune systems or chronic health conditions.
Comparable Validity and Reliability
A common concern about teleassessment is whether it can produce valid and reliable results that are comparable to in-person assessment. Fortunately, there is a growing body of research that supports the use of teleassessment for various types of measures, such as intelligence, achievement, and personality (including behaviour, mood, adaptive skills, etc). According to the research compiled in the book Essentials of Psychological Tele-assessment (2021) teleassessment can be conducted ethically and professionally as long as the clinician follows the appropriate standards and procedures, such as ensuring the quality and security of the technology, obtaining informed consent, verifying the identity and location of the client, and adapting the administration and interpretation of the tests as needed.
Teleassessment can be a viable option for providing assessment services to children and adolescents who may otherwise not have access to them. It can offer several benefits, such as increased access and flexibility, reduced cost and stress, and comparable validity and reliability. However, teleassessment is not suitable for every client or every situation, and it requires careful consideration of individual and contextual factors, as well as the existing research literature, and the legal and ethical issues. The decision to use teleassessment should be made on a case-by-case basis after consultation with the client, the clinician, and the relevant stakeholders.
Cassandra Hillman White, Director of RMPS, has recently completed additional training and reviewed the research literature regarding offering teleassessment. With this additional training and review of the research literature, RMPS is now happy to announce that teleassessment services are available. Please contact us to find out more and to decide if teleassessment services are a fit for you or your child.