Journal article

Teleneuropsychology in the time of COVID-19: The experience of The Australian Epilepsy Project

Chris Tailby, Alana J Collins, David N Vaughan, David F Abbott, Marie O'Shea, Christoph Helmstaedter, Graeme D Jackson

Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy | W B SAUNDERS CO LTD | Published : 2020

Abstract

PURPOSE: Traditional neuropsychological testing carries elevated COVID-19 risk for both examinee and examiner. Here we describe how the pilot study of the Australian Epilepsy Project (AEP) has transitioned to tele-neuropsychology (teleNP), enabling continued safe operations during the pandemic. METHODS: The AEP includes adults (age 18-60) with a first unprovoked seizure, new diagnosis of epilepsy or drug resistant focal epilepsy. Shortly after launching the study, COVID-related restrictions necessitated adaptation to teleNP, including delivery of verbal tasks via videoconference; visual stimulus delivery via document camera; use of web-hosted, computerised assessment; substitution of oral ve..

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Grants

Awarded by Australian Government Medical Research Future Fund Frontier Health and Medical Research Program Stage One grant


Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia


Funding Acknowledgements

This project was supported by an Australian Government Medical Research Future Fund Frontier Health and Medical Research Program Stage One grant (MRFF75908); the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Program Grant 1091593 and Project Grant APP1157145); a grant from Brain Australia; and the Victorian Government including Victorian-led Frontier Health and Medical Research project funding and funding from the Operational Infrastructure Support Grant. The authors acknowledge the facilities and scientific and technical assistance of the National Imaging Facility, a National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) capability, at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. We would also like to thank Saul Mullen, Paul Lightfoot, Marta Taranto, Olivia Lavalette and Gloria Nkhoma for helpful discussions, and two anonymous reviewers of an earlier version of this manuscript.