Evidence in the literature demonstrates the reliability of cognitive screening assessments using video technology in English-speaking older populations. However, this has not been tested in older culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations who require an interpreter, and what the associated costs would be. The aim was to determine if the Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale (RUDAS) and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) could be reliably administered over video-interpreting methods compared with face-to-face interpreting. In addition, the study aims to compare the costs of video-interpreting with the costs of face-to-face interpreting.
We compared similarity of the RUDAS and GDS scores when administered face-to-face and via video-interpreting. The similarity of scores between methods was analysed using paired t-tests and Bland–Altman plots. A costing analysis was done using a micro-costing approach to estimate the costs of video-interpreting compared with face-to-face, extrapolated to a national level.
Analysis found no significant differences in the mean assessment scores between video-interpreting and face-to-face (RUDAS mean difference: −0.36; 95% confidence interval (CI): −1.09, 0.38, GDS mean difference: 0.22; 95% CI: −0.38, 0.83). Bland–Altman plots demonstrated that 71% of RUDAS scores and 82% of GDS scores were within the maximum allowed difference of ±2 units. Costing analysis showed a A$7 saving per assessment when using video-interpreting compared with face-to-face, with a total national saving of A$247,350.
Video-interpreting was found to be as reliable as face-to-face interpreting for both RUDAS and GDS assessments. Cost analysis indicates that video-interpreting is cheaper than face-to-face interpreting.