An Ace study demonstrates the efficacy of teleneuropsychology in diagnosis
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many health centers that cared for people in risk groups to close their face-to-face care. For Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona it meant a rapid conversion of all diagnostic processes to telematics.
The adaptation had a high degree of complexity in areas such as neuropsychology, which requires seeing the user's reactions during the tests and evaluating the speed of their response. To prevent the adaptation to the online environment, a channel to which people over 50 are not used to, and to guarantee the maximum reliability of the tests applied by that channel, the neuropsychology team deployed an ambitious plan to study the validity of these tests, in addition to continuing to assist people in diagnostic processes.
This study concludes that distance neuropsychological tests have an efficacy comparable to that of their face-to-face version.
Comparing the quality of the results harvested through NBACEtn with those obtained through NBACE face-to-face, these have equivalent validity and rigor. That is, the tests administered by videoconference were understandable to the person who was executing them and just as capable of detecting, or not, cognitive impairment.
The variables studied were the structure of the test, the degree of interpretation of the data and its ability to detect cognitive impairment.
For the main authors of the study, Montse Alegret, head of neuropsychology at Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona, and Sergi Valero, head of Ace's Department of Medical Psychology, this study has been “an endorsement of the telemedicine adaptation work carried out by professionals from Ace's Diagnostic Unit. We have scientifically demonstrated that the battery of neuropsychological tests that had been done in person since 2006 works with the same rigor in its telematic version to diagnose people with a wide range of stages, from the person with subjective memory complaint to the one who is observe the beginning of a dementia”.
In addition, the authors add, “the fact that NBACEtn has proven to be useful for the detection of cognitive impairment and the diagnosis of Alzheimer's facilitates the access of people who previously could not go to a specialized center due to their place of residence or mobility problems. In light of the results obtained in this study, it can be said that teleneuropsychology is here to stay”.
Ace Alzheimer Center, pioneer in consensus diagnosis
The Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona diagnostic model is based on a pioneering consensus diagnosis in Europe.
In addition to detecting cognitive impairment in a person, a multidisciplinary team made up of neurologists, neuropsychologists, social workers, and geriatricians jointly establish a final diagnosis and a global therapeutic strategy, taking into account the context and the care structure available to the person with cognitive impairment.
In addition to being a unique model, Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona shares this diagnosis with the medical history of the public health system, so that the referring doctor and other specialists can access the results of the tests carried out by Ace's team.