A neuropsychological assessment objectively measures a person’s cognitive and behavioural functioning. The term ‘cognitive’ refers to abilities such as concentration, thinking, learning, memory, problem-solving and reasoning. More specifically, the assessment is designed to characterise a person’s cognition and behaviour in order to identify any symptoms that might be due to a medical condition, neurological injury or psychiatric illness.
Dr Luke Smith will first take a thorough history from you during an interview. Information may also be requested from other parties, such as a family member or treating medical professional. He will then administer some paper and pencil type activities to measure your thinking and memory skills. Following analysis of assessment results, feedback and a report will be provided.
Further information about neuropsychology and neuropsychological assessment can be found on the Australia Psychological Society website.
When is a neuropsychological assessment useful?
Assessments can be used for diagnosing different brain disorders and for monitoring a person’s symptoms over time. People are also referred to neuropsychologists for rehabilitation purposes and for evaluation of their capacity to make informed decisions. For example, their capacity to appoint enduring powers of attorney or make decisions about their finances, medical treatment and lifestyle (including accommodation).
How long will an assessment take?
Assessments vary in length according to the abilities of the person being assessed and reason for the evaluation. A neuropsychological assessment generally takes between 3 to 4 hours. Longer time frames might be involved for assessment of decision-making capacity. Fees will also be charged for time spent analysing results, report writing, providing feedback and making phone calls. As a general guide, the entire process generally takes between 6 to 8 hours.