Adherence to Validity Testing Recommendations in Neuropsychological Assessment: A Survey of INS and NAN Members

Rayna B Hirst, Cecilia S Han, Anna M Teague, Alexis S Rosen, Julie Gretler, Zoe Quittner
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology: the Official Journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists 2017 June 1, 32 (4): 456-471

Objective: The National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) has published recommendations for best validity testing practices, as has the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychologists (AACN) in their review of critical issues in the field. However, surveys show not all neuropsychologists follow these recommendations consistently. Examiner characteristics (e.g., training history) and current practice characteristics (e.g., type of practice setting) may affect systematic adherence to these recommendations. Further, previous surveys focused on distinct countries or continents rather than an international sample. This study sought to provide better understanding of examiner factors that contribute to recommendation adherence and identify opportunities for improving validity testing training and practice.

Method: A sample of 654 NAN and International Neuropsychological Society (INS) neuropsychologists responded to online survey questions about their demographic, training, and practice characteristics, as well as validity testing practices.

Results: Findings indicate that neuropsychologists from other countries generally adhere to NAN and AACN recommendations as closely as United States neuropsychologists. Across all neuropsychologists, those who work with pediatric and geriatric populations do not follow recommendations as consistently as those who work with adults, despite research supporting that recommendations should be followed with all patients. Neuropsychologists who have been practicing longer were also less likely to adhere to recommendations, suggesting that continuing education would be beneficial even for more experienced neuropsychologists.

Conclusions: Results highlight the need for continued training on the importance of validity testing practices across different countries and all assessment settings, and identify groups of neuropsychologists to whom training could be targeted to maximize effectiveness.

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