Exploration of the Feasibility of Remote Assessment of Functioning in Children and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities: Parents’ Perspectives and Related Contextual Factors

By Beatriz Helena Brugnaro et al


The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted face-to-face health services, leveraging telehealth strategies. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate, from a parent’s perspective, the feasibility of a remote assessment of functioning in children with developmental disabilities during the pandemic and related contextual factors, based on how parents carry out the assessment.

Parents of children with developmental disabilities (mean age = 7.56 ± 3.68) responded to a remote assessment via electronic forms and telephone interview. We analyzed parents’ perspectives about the feasibility of the assessment. We also tested the association between feasibility score and sociodemographics/pandemic experience. Regression analysis tested if children’s functioning characteristics predicted feasibility.

A total of 57 mothers completed the remote assessment, and more than 95% did not report difficulties in accessing/responding to electronic forms. They scored remote assessment as easy and feasible, and reported no difficulties with telephone interview. Greater feasibility rates were related to lower maternal age (rho Spearman = −0.290; p = 0.029).

The model shows that children’s characteristics predicted 20.4% of feasibility (p < 0.005). Remote assessment showed to be feasible. Younger mothers might consider easier-to-use technologies, beyond considering remote assessment more viable. These results can guide the next steps in research and remote clinical practice.

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