Gustafsson HC, Young AS, Stamos G, et al. Innovative methods for remote assessment of neurobehavioral development. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 52, December 2021, 101015
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, research institutions across the globe have modified their operations in ways that have limited or eliminated the amount of permissible in-person research interaction. In order to prevent the loss of important developmentally-timed data during the pandemic, researchers have quickly pivoted and developed innovative methods for remote assessment of research participants. In this manuscript, we describe methods developed for remote assessment of a parent child cohort with a focus on examining the perinatal environment, behavioral and biological indicators of child neurobehavioral development, parent-child interaction, as well as parent and child mental and physical health. We include recommendations relevant to adapting in-laboratory assessments for remote data collection and conclude with a description of the successful dissemination of the methods to eight research sites across the United States, each of whom are involved in Phase 1 of the HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) Study. These remote methods were born out of pandemic-related necessity; however, they have much wider applicability and may offer advantages over in-laboratory neurodevelopmental assessments.