Integrating Telehealth Into Neurodevelopmental Assessment: A Model From the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative


Stephany M. Cox, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Developmental Medicine, Benioff Children's Hospital, University of California-San Francisco, USA.
Jennifer L. Butcher, Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan School of Medicine & C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, USA.
Anjali Sadhwani, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA.
Renee Sananes, Labatt Family Heart Centre, Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Canada.
Jacqueline H. Sanz, Division of Neuropsychology, Children's National Hospital, Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences & Pediatrics, George Washington University School of Medicine, USA.
Elizabeth Blumenfeld, Mended Little Hearts, USA.
Adam R. Cassidy, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA.
Jessica C. Cowin, The Children's Heart Foundation, USA.
Dawn Ilardi, Department of Neuropsychology, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Emory University, USA.
Nadine A. Kasparian, Cincinnati Children's Center for Heart Disease and Mental Health, Heart Institute and the Division of Behavioral Medicine & Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, USA.
Joslyn Kenowitz, Nemours Cardiac Center, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, USA.
Kristin Kroll, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Psychology and Developmental Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, USA.
Thomas A. Miller, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Maine Medical Center, USA.
Kelly R. Wolfe, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, USA.

Document Type


Publication Date



Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital Scholars Academy

Journal Title

Journal of pediatric psychology


OBJECTIVE: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, psychologists were pushed to look beyond traditional in-person models of neurodevelopmental assessment to maintain continuity of care. A wealth of data demonstrates that telehealth is efficacious for pediatric behavioral intervention; however, best practices for incorporating telehealth into neurodevelopmental assessment are yet to be developed. In this topical review, we propose a conceptual model to demonstrate how telehealth can be incorporated into various components of neurodevelopmental assessment. METHODS: Harnessing existing literature and expertise from a multidisciplinary task force comprised of clinicians, researchers, and patient/parent representatives from the subspecialty of cardiac neurodevelopmental care, a conceptual framework for telehealth neurodevelopmental assessment was developed. Considerations for health equity and access to care are discussed, as well as general guidelines for clinical implementation and gaps in existing literature. RESULTS: There are opportunities to integrate telehealth within each stage of neurodevelopmental assessment, from intake to testing, through to follow-up care. Further research is needed to determine whether telehealth mitigates or exacerbates disparities in access to care for vulnerable populations as well as to provide evidence of validity for a wider range of neurodevelopmental measures to be administered via telehealth. CONCLUSIONS: While many practices are returning to traditional, face-to-face neurodevelopmental assessment services, psychologists have a unique opportunity to harness the momentum for telehealth care initiated during the pandemic to optimize the use of clinical resources, broaden service delivery, and increase access to care for pediatric neurodevelopmental assessment.