Neuropsychological assessment is advised when an individual's thinking and/or behaviors cause social, academic, or occupational dysfunction.
Neuropsychological assessment will determine to what extent cognitive or psychological disorders are contributing to the dysfunction, clarify diagnosis and prognosis, and direct the types of treatment that will be most helpful.
Neurologists, psychiatrists, attorneys, and other professionals often request neuropsychological assessments to clarify diagnostic questions or document the presence of cognitive impairments for various reasons.
Assessments are conducted to rule out/diagnose developmental delays, learning disorders, psychiatric disorders, cognitive disability, neurodegenerative disorders/dementia, and to document effects of brain injury.
Is assessment the same with children and adolescents as it is with adults?
Neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents is different from and more complicated than assessment of adults. There are rapid developmental changes in psychological and neurocognitive functioning during childhood and adolescence that require very specialized training and knowledge.
Regardless of the type of assessment or the age of the patient, use of valid and reliable measures to determine cognitive, psychological, and adaptive functioning is essential.
Factors that impact the interpretation of test results include, but are not limited to, ethnicity, culture, language use, age, education, medical conditions, previous head injuries, medications, psychological health, and sometimes gender. Qualified and ethical neuropsychologists are knowledgeable about and sensitive to these individual differences and consider them in diagnostic conclusions.
How long does testing or assessment take?
The referral question and symptom report by patients during clinical interview determines the length of the assessment. A comprehensive assessment can take between 4-8 hours or up to two full days, depending on the purpose of the assessment, the number of tests required to make the diagnosis and provide treatment recommendations, the capacity of the patient to tolerate the demands of testing, and various other factors.
What is covered in a neuropsychological evaluation?
A thorough medical, developmental, and academic achievement history, review of prior medical or academic records, collateral interviews as indicated (i.e., parents, teachers, family members, treatment providers), test administration, scoring and interpretation, a written report including diagnosis and treatment or service recommendations when indicated, and a personal debriefing if the evaluation is not forensic in nature or requested by a third party.
Psychological and neuropsychological tests are primarily pencil and paper tests. Dr. Goldberg will ask the patient to answer questions, solve different kinds of problems, learn new information, and so forth. Sometimes a patient will be asked to demonstrate fine motor dexterity, or draw shapes. No physically invasive procedures are involved.
Who conducts the testing?
Dr. Goldberg personally conducts all neuropsychological evaluations, clinical interviews, and test administration. Her commitment to accuracy and precision ensures that test administration and documentation of qualitative behavioral observations will be consistent and thorough in all cases, and no details will be missed.
Reports and serial evaluations
Well-written assessment reports provide valuable information about a patient's brain functioning, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations, based on the referral question.
The level of complexity contained in the reports is based on who will be reading the report.
Untrained individuals should not attempt to interpret the results of neuropsychological testing without the assistance of a neuropsychologist.
In cases of traumatic brain injury, disability, stroke, or dementia, a series of evaluations can determine whether changes in a patient's functioning are occurring over time. It is not always necessary to conduct serial evaluations; for diagnostic purposes, one evaluation is typically sufficient.
Dr. Goldberg will advise you when serial evaluations are indicated.
When will I receive my results?
Turnaround time can range from a few days to a few weeks, depending on Dr. Goldberg's current caseload. A verbal debriefing of results will be scheduled after testing is completed, unless the assessment is being conducted as part of a forensic evaluation; in that case no verbal debriefing is provided unless all parties agree in writing.
During verbal debriefings, Dr. Goldberg explains the results of testing, answers your questions, and reviews treatment and service recommendations. A written report is completed and forwarded to you and/or the referring party or physician, based on the type of evaluation that was conducted. Reports for family and patients are written in understandable language.
In the case of third party referrals (e.g., forensic, court-ordered, and medical-legal), no reports are provided to the examinee; reports are provided only to the referring party. How is my information protected?
Test data, private patient information, and medical records are protected by federal law and ethical guidelines. Reports are not released to other parties without legal authorization by the holder of privilege or by court order. May I see my raw test data?
Psychological and neuropsychological test materials are copyrighted and protected by publishers to preserve the integrity of the measures, and to ensure the validity of their administration as well as the utility and reliability of results.
Only professionals who are especially trained to administer these tests and to properly interpret results have legal access to test materials.
Raw data and test scores can be easily misinterpreted by--and potentially psychologically harmful to--untrained individuals who cannot appreciate the complexity of the numerous variables that contribute to accurate interpretation of psychometrically constructed test results.
If you would like to see your test scores, Dr. Goldberg will schedule time to meet with you to review them in-person, which will ensure your understanding. She will answer any questions you have at that meeting.
Do you accept insurance?
No insurance is accepted. All fees are due and payable at time of service.
If you wish to file a claim for reimbursement with your insurance company after paying for services, you must specifically request documentation that will meet the requirements of your insurance company, which may include a description of the services provided, dates of evaluations, procedure codes, lists of tests administered (if applicable), and diagnosis.
If you plan to file a claim for reimbursement, it is your responsibility to determine what information is needed for your insurance company and to file the paperwork.