COVID-19 pandemic and clinical psychology placements: a provisional psychologist's perspective

Hannah Whittall, Joanne Shaw, Lisa Beatty

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


In late December 2019, a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified in Wuhan, China, which rapidly spread globally over first 2 months of 2020, resulting in a pandemic being declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11th, 2020. On March 15th, the Australian Government announced immediate measures and restrictions to daily activity that impacted not only social interactions but also all aspects of health care delivery. Health services rapidly developed protocols on 2 fronts: the screening and treatment of COVID-19 and the continued provision of essential non-COVID-19 clinical services, including cancer care. Clinicians in outpatient populations quickly moved from face-to-face consultations to telehealth—conceptualized as any telecommunication that facilitates delivery of care to patients when and where they choose to receive it. Although the term can encompass mobile applications and online programs, we refer to telehealth in this commentary as the telephone or videoconference delivery of health care consultations.[1] Telehealth has been trialed in randomized controlled trials in Australia and internationally with comparable efficacy to face-to-face therapy in improving emotional distress across a number of disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere36
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology Research and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • COVID-19
  • pandemic
  • clinical psychology
  • provisional psychologist
  • clinical services
  • care consultations
  • therapy
  • emotional distress


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