What is a Neuropsychological assessment?
A Clinical Neuropsychologist is trained in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disorders associated with conditions affecting the brain. Usually, you will have been referred or recommended for a Neuropsychological assessment by your doctor, specialist, lawyer or insurer.
An assessment primarily evaluates a number of areas of cognition, including concentration, memory, language and problem solving. Emotions and behaviour are also reviewed and together, the information collected is used to assist with the diagnosis, characterisation and treatment planning for a number of conditions (e.g., neurodegenerative, developmental, neurological and psychiatric). Assessments can be undertaken to identify strengths and weaknesses, monitor change over time, review response to treatment or rehabilitation, and to delineate capacity and decision making abilities.
Following the assessment, the person who referred you will be provided with a detailed report outlining your test performances, together with recommendations that might be helpful specifically related to your current level of functioning. You will also be given the opportunity to attend for a feedback session regarding the outcomes of the assessment.*
*Please note that if you have been referred as part of a forensic, medico-legal or compensation process, you will need to seek further information regarding the nature of the assessment and any obtained outcomes from the referring agent or your legal counsel.
Who Will I Be Seeing?
The clinician undertaking the assessment has undergone rigorous training and supervision in the field of neuropsychology, with postgraduate university qualifications. They will be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia with endorsement as a Clinical Neuropsychologist.
What Is Involved?
As part of the assessment process, the session usually begins with an interview that provides an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns you might have regarding your cognition (thinking abilities), as well as your mood and any other issues that may be impacting on your ability to carry out your usual day-to-day activities. Additionally you will be asked questions regarding aspects of your background including your educational, occupational and medical history.
Following the interview, you will be administered a series of pencil and paper tasks, including questionnaires, completing puzzles and problem solving activities, as well as remembering certain information.
Depending on the nature of the referral questions, assessments can range in length from three to six hours, with the testing completed across one or two appointments.
What Do I Need To Bring to Neuropsychological Assessments?
Please ensure that you bring
- A copy of your referral (if it has not already been provided)
- A list of your current medications
- Reading glasses and hearing aids if you wear them
- Copies of medical documentation regarding recent health issues or hospital admissions
- Reports from any cranial investigations (e.g. head MRI scan; CT scan; EEG)
You may wish to have a family member or friend accompany you to the appointment. They are welcome to join you during the interview, however the testing is conducted only with you.