2020 COVID-19 American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN) Student Affairs Committee survey of neuropsychology trainees

Leslie M. Guidotti Breting, Stephanie J. Towns, Alissa M. Butts, Benjamin L. Brett, Emily B. Leaffer, Douglas M. Whiteside

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: To conduct an online survey in order to understand neuropsychology trainees’ perspectives during the COVID-19 pandemic and identify pertinent concerns, training gaps, and recommendations. Method: A total of 874 neuropsychology trainees (81% female) completed the 69-item survey. Of the included trainees, 48% were doctoral students, 17% were interns, and 35% were postdoctoral residents (50% of resident respondents were in their first year). Results: The majority of neuropsychology trainees reported some impact of the pandemic on their professional and/or personal life. Overall, the impact did not differ by training level, geographic location, or demographic factors. Trainees’ primary professional concerns included uncertainty about the impact of the pandemic on their professional future, loss of clinical hours, and desire for increased and ongoing communication from their leadership. A notable percentage of trainees reported increased personal mental health symptoms (i.e. anxiety/depression; 74%/54%), as well as a number of other personal stressors. Despite the transition to telehealth (mostly interviews/feedback sessions), few trainees have prior training or experience in providing neuropsychological services via phone or video platform. A limited proportion of trainees (approximately 10%) were still seeing patients face-to-face for neuropsychological evaluations during the COVID-19 pandemic as of 14 April 2020. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting neuropsychological training and the well-being of trainees. This survey highlights the importance of communication with trainees during uncertain times. Based on the survey results, recommendations were developed to assist neuropsychology organizations in developing initiatives to support trainees during the current pandemic and in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1284-1313
Number of pages30
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Nov 16 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the trainees for taking the time to complete this survey during this extraordinary time. The authors would like to thank the American Academy Clinical Neuropsychology Board of Directors for their support of this survey project. The authors would also like to thank Drs Guterbock, Marcopulos, Suchy, and Sweet, as well as select members of the AACN SAC, ANST, and SCN EAC for graciously volunteering their time to review the survey while in development. We would like to thank graduate student, Mike Almasri, for his assistance with compiling the list of graduate programs to send the survey to and other support tasks.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • COVID-19
  • education
  • neuropsychology trainees
  • pandemic
  • survey


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