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Neuropsychological assessment fact sheet for the injured person, relatives and significant others

You have been referred for a neuropsychological assessment to measure and evaluate your thinking and behaviour through interview, observation and testing.

The psychologist will have information about you from your doctor and others who have been providing treatment or been involved in your rehabilitation. You will be asked questions about yourself and your accident.

You will be asked questions about your current medications and drug or alcohol use as these can influence your thinking ability and test performance.

You will be given a range of tasks to complete to estimate your abilities in a number of areas. The testing can take up to six hours to complete. Breaks are provided as needed. Sometimes testing may be done over more than one day.

The assessment may cover cognitive areas (thinking skills) such as:

  • general intellectual level
  • memory and learning
  • attention and concentration
  • language
  • planning and organisation
  • problem solving
  • effort.

The psychologist will analyse the interview, other information and the test results carefully and write a report. They may also discuss the results with your doctor, therapists, case manager, Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer (if relevant), Lifetime Care and Support Authority (LTCSA) coordinator (if relevant) and solicitors. The report will also be sent to these people.

Who can conduct neuropsychological assessments?

Psychologists who have undergone specialised training in this area can conduct these assessments. These psychologists are experienced in detecting changes in thinking processes, memory and behaviour that may be the result of brain injury.

Why have a neuropsychological assessment?

Assessments help by identifying strengths and weaknesses. They are used for decisions about study or work and other areas of your life after the injury. They can also be used to help make decisions about other services that may assist you in your recovery and rehabilitation.

The results also help the CTP insurer/LTCSA and solicitor to manage your case. Neuropsychological assessment reports are shared between your treating doctor, therapists, your solicitor and the insurer and their solicitor.

The assessments may be repeated to help the psychologist measure both short and long term recovery but repeated assessments can make results less useful. If assessments are being organised by different people contact your case manager/coordinator, treating doctor or solicitor.

It is important that assessments are at least one year, and ideally two years apart (except in specific circumstances).

What should I bring?

Your reading glasses (if required), any school reports, results or certificates from any courses you have completed.

Further information

Family members or significant others attending the assessment may also be asked some questions as part of the evaluation. However, this person will not be with you during testing.

The psychologist will be able to detect if you are not attempting tasks to the best of your ability. If this occurs the assessment may be stopped. Genuine problems will be detected in the tests.

You should not bring children (unless the child is the injured person) with you as the assessment takes several hours and requires your full attention.

You should not drink any alcohol on the day of assessment. Only take medication that has been prescribed by your doctor.

If you have any questions about your appointment, contact the person who has organised it for you.