Literacy Assessment Via Telepractice Is Comparable to Face-to-Face Assessment in Children with Reading Difficulties Living in Rural Australia

M. Antoinette Hodge, Rebecca Sutherland, Kelly Jeng, Gillian Bale, Paige Batta, Aine Cambridge, Jeanette Detheridge, Suzi Drevensek, Lynda Edwards, Margaret Everett, Chelvi Ganesalingam, Philippa Geier, Carol Kass, Susannah Mathieson, Michael McCabe, Kay Micallef, Kirsty Molomby, Silvia Pfeiffer, Sylvia Pope, Francine TaitMarcia Williamsz, Lynne Young-Dwarte, Natalie Silove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Literacy difficulties have significant long-term impacts on individuals, and therefore early identification and intervention are critical. Access to experienced professionals who conduct standardized literacy assessments with children is limited in rural and remote areas. The emerging literature supports the feasibility of using telepractice to overcome barriers to accessing specialist literacy assessment. The current study sought to determine the feasibility and reliability of telepractice assessments, using consumer-grade technology, in children with reading difficulties. Materials and Methods: Thirty-seven children, aged 8 to 12 years, with reading difficulties, attended a multidisciplinary reading clinic. Children completed literacy assessments delivered via a web-based application by a remotely located research assistant. A teacher was stationed with the child and coscored the assessments. Scores and qualitative observations of the two assessors were compared. Results: Spearman's correlation analyses revealed strong agreement between telepractice- and face-to-face-rated scores (r = 0.79-0.99). Bland-Altman plots indicated excellent agreement between derived scores. Parents reported a high degree of comfort with the telepractice assessments. Clinicians reported the audio and video quality was sound in most cases. Discussion/Conclusions: Web-based technology can enable remote delivery of literacy assessments. The technology has the potential to increase the availability of assessments to meet the needs of children who live remotely, in a timely manner and at their family's convenience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


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