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Multiple Sclerosis Journal ; 27(2 SUPPL):271-272, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1496034


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on research and health care in MS. This study-within-atrial (SWAT) takes place within a host trial investigating the feasibility of the Cognitive-Occupation-Based programme for people with MS (COB-MS) that was originally designed to be delivered in-person but was amended to an online environment. As such, reliable remote cognitive testing could provide safer and more convenient care for MS patients. Aims: The SWAT examines the reliability of delivering the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS (BICAMS) and the Trail-Making Test (TMT) remotely to people with MS. Objectives: Performance on BICAMS measures and the TMT administered remotely are compared with performance on tests administered in-person. BICAMS measures include the California Verbal Learning Test, Second Edition (CVLT-II), the Symbol Digit Modality Test (SDMT) and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R). Method: Independent samples t-tests were conducted on a sample of 68 participants to investigate differences in performance between Group 1 (11 males, 23 females), who were visited by a research assistant in their homes before the pandemic and Group 2 (10 males, 24 females) who received online testing only via teleconference platform Zoom. Within-group differences for Group 1 who also received virtual testing after a six-month interval were also examined. Results: The analysis revealed no significant differences in scores between virtual and in-person administrations of the CVLT-II, TMT and SDMT. Strong positive correlations were found for inperson and virtual tests within Group 1 after a six-month interval on the CVLT-II, SDMT, TMT-A and TMT-B. BVMT-R scores were significantly higher for virtual testing (M = 20.59, SD = 6.65) compared to in-person testing (M = 16.35, SD = 6.05). However, this discrepancy may be attributed to inter-rater differences, rather than enhanced performance for online testing. In-person and virtual assessments within Group 1 were also strongly correlated (r = .72). Conclusions: The findings support the reliability of remote administration of BICAMS and the TMT in people living with MS.