A neuropsychological assessment is a
comprehensive evaluation usually done at some stage during
rehabilitation after a brain injury.
Ideally a neuropsychological assessment should explain how
damage in the brain affects the way a person thinks, acts and deals
with life after a traumatic brain injury or other kind of
The ultimate goal of a neuropsychological assessment
is to fully maximize the survivor's recovery and
participation in family, work and the community. It is
very useful in guiding the rehabilitation process, and evaluates
many areas of functioning such as:
- Perceptual, sensory and motor functions
- Concentration, attention and memory
- Emotions, personality and behaviour
- Planning and organization
- Study skills.
The neuropsychologist will usually look at case histories,
hospital records and talk to family members to learn about the
person's functioning before the brain injury.
a neuropsychological assessment
The assessment not only guides the rehabilitation process but
helps the person and their family to understand the impact of the
traumatic brain injury more. The neuropsychologist will normally
meet with the family to discuss the findings - taking notes or
recording the meeting is highly recommended. A written report is
usually provided too, covering the case history, current issues,
tests conducted, observations, assessment results and
The neuropsychologist should explain the person's abilities that
remain unchanged as well as expected problem areas and the impact
these will have on day-to-day life for the person as well as the
family e.g. "damage to the frontal lobes of the brain will
difficulties in planning and organizing, the family will need to
provide structure, prompts and reminders".
Obtaining a neuropsychological
These tests can be quite expensive - if it wasn't done during
rehabilitation then often universities offering programs in
neuropsychology provide evaluations at low cost or sliding scale as
part of their student training.