What is a neuropsychological assessment?
A neuropsychological assessment examines current thinking and memory. It is a detailed assessment involving an interview canvassing areas such as your personal background, educational and medical backgrounds, mental health and day-to-day functioning.
It is helpful if you can bring someone who knows you well to the assessment. Speaking to a family member or friend, with your permission, will allow us to gain additional information about your situation and any changes that may have occurred. Following this, several different tests will be administered to assess areas of functioning such as verbal skills, problem solving, attention, memory and mental flexibility. The tests are designed to inform the neuropsychologist about how your brain is working at present and detect any changes that may have occurred over time or as a result of a brain injury or medical condition. You may also be asked to complete some questionnaires.
It is important to note that the tests used cater to all different backgrounds, levels of education and life experience. You are not expected to be able to answer every question correctly and there is no pass or fail. In fact, we expect that you will find some tasks more challenging and others easier.
What do I do prior the assessment?
You cannot study for the assessment. It is intended to be an accurate snap-shot of how you are currently functioning. It is important however that you try and cease all drug and alcohol use three days before the assessment (unless prescribed your doctor) and that you try and get a restful sleep the night before your appointment.
What do I bring ?
- referral information (if not already obtained by doctor or legal representation)
- any medical reports or test results
- school/academic records or transcripts
- any hearing devices, visual aids e.g. glasses
- a list of your current medications including drug name, dosage and administration schedule
How long will the assessment take?
Neuropsychological assessments generally take between 3-5 hours. A break will be provided half way through the assessment. If you feel you will require additional breaks this can be discussed at the time of the assessment. Occasionally an assessment will be conducted over two separate sessions.
Generally we advise that you leave the day free of other appointments or commitments so you are not rushed and the assessment can be completed in its entirety on the one day. Please consider this when making your booking and planning travel arrangements.
How much does the assessment cost?
The cost of the assessment will vary depending on your referral source and purpose of the assessment. Please enquire at the time of booking.
Neuropsychological assessments are not currently covered by Medicare. A small proportion of the cost may be covered by your health fund. Please contact your health fund for further information.
When to refer?
If you have concerns about someone a neuropsychological assessment can provide a comprehensive assessment of a person’s cognitive functions. In young children, the earlier a correct diagnosis is made the sooner they can commence appropriate treatment. This is particularly important in the school environment where unfortunately children with additional needs may be left behind. In older adults, neuropsychological reports are particularly helpful in cases where the impairment may not yet be severe or where there is contention about a person’s capacity. If you are unsure, please call our offices and we can advise you of the most appropriate time for neuropsychological assessment.