A neuropsychological assessment consists of a variety of tests designed to measure the damage caused by brain injury. It provides more information about a person’s cognitive capabilities than a basic neurological evaluation. A neuropsychologist, who is a psychologist with a Ph.D. or Psy.D. credential and specialized training in brain-behavior relationships, conducts the evaluation.
In addition to administering the assessment, the neuropsychologist will likely interview the person with the brain injury and the individual’s family members, study available hospital records, and review any other information that provides insight into who the individual was before his or her brain injury.
The assessment includes a variety of different methods for evaluating attention span, orientation, memory, concentration, language (receptive and expressive), new learning, mathematical reasoning, spatial perception, abstract and organizational thinking, problem solving, social judgment, motor abilities, sensory awareness and emotional characteristics, and general psychological adjustment.
The results of the assessment allow the treatment team address an individual’s unique needs in the hospital or during rehabilitation. The assessment also gives the individual’s family an idea of the injury’s impact. Often the neuropsychologist will be very clear and informative about ways the brain injury will affect the individual’s day-to-day existence. The person’s rehabilitation plan will be based on the results of the neuropsychological assessment.