Cognitive Assessment via Telephone: A Scoping Review of Instruments

Anne R. Carlew, Hudaisa Fatima, Julia R. Livingstone, Caitlin Reese, Laura Lacritz, Cody Pendergrass, Kenneth Chase Bailey, Chase Presley, Ben Mokhtari, Colin Munro Cullum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: Telephone-based cognitive assessment (TBCA) has long been studied but less widely adopted in routine neuropsychological practice. Increased interest in remote neuropsychological assessment techniques in the face of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic warrants an updated review of relevant remote assessment literature. While recent reviews of videoconference-based neuropsychological applications have been published, no updated compilation of empirical TBCA research has been completed. Therefore, this scoping review offers relevant empirical research to inform clinical decision-making specific to teleneuropsychology. Method: Peer-reviewed studies addressing TBCA were included. Broad search terms were related to telephone, cognitive, or neuropsychological assessment and screening. After systematic searching of the PubMed and EBSCO databases, 139 relevant articles were retained. Results: In total, 17 unique cognitive screening measures, 20 cognitive batteries, and 6 single-task measures were identified as being developed or adapted specifically for telephone administration. Tables summarizing the identified cognitive assessments, information on diagnostic accuracy, and comparisons to face-to-face cognitive assessment are included in supplementary materials. Conclusions: Overall, literature suggests that TBCA is a viable modality for identifying cognitive impairment in various populations. However, the mode of assessment selected clinically should reflect an understanding of the purpose, evidence, and limitations for various tests and populations. Most identified measures were developed for research application to support gross cognitive characterization and to help determine when more comprehensive testing was needed. While TBCA is not meant to replace gold-standard, face-to-face evaluation, if appropriately utilized, it can expand scope of practice, particularly when barriers to standard neuropsychological assessment occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1215-1233
Number of pages19
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Cognitive assessment
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Telehealth
  • Teleneuropsychology
  • Telephone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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