Abstract

Objective: To examine the prevalence of perceived ethical misconduct in clinical practice, teaching, and research in the field of neuropsychology in Colombia. Method: Four hundred and five self-identified mental health professionals who engage in neuropsychology practice in Colombia completed an online survey from July to December of 2013. In the ethics section of the survey, participants were asked to identify if neuropsychologists they know who work in their country engaged in specific kinds of ethical misconduct. Results: 70% reported receiving formal training in professional ethics. The clinical findings are as follows: Half know others who present themselves/work as neuropsychologists without adequate training or expertise. One out of three knows others who break patient-client confidentiality and/or who do not report child abuse, suicidality, or danger to others when necessary. One out of five reports knowing someone who diagnoses using inadequate data or ignore important sources of data. One out of five knows others who testify in court without the appropriate expertise. Approximately 20% know someone who knows their patients outside of their professional relationship and/or provides interventions of questionable effectiveness or that may be harmful to patients and/or withholds or provides substandard services to patients unable to pay for services. Approximately 1% reports knowing someone who engaged in sexual relationships with their patients. Conclusion(s): Less than half of survey respondents reported receiving ethics training. It is possible that introducing more or improved ethics courses into pre-graduate and/or graduate school curriculums, and/or requiring continuing ethics education certification may reduce perceived ethical misconduct among neuropsychological professionals in Colombia.