Neuropsychological Assessment

  • Reference Number: HEY-714/2015
  • Departments: Rehabilitation Medicine

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information. Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet. It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and the healthcare team, but may act as a starting point for discussion. If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

Introduction

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about the Neuropsychology Service. If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for you.

What is the assessment process?

You will first meet with a clinical neuropsychologist for interview and then attend sessions to complete some testing.  Testing sessions are usually 1.5 – 2 hours in length and it is often necessary to attend more than one session.  During testing, you will complete various tasks to look at a range of cognitive abilities (thinking skills) that you use on a daily basis.  Some of the tasks are pen and paper exercises and others involve solving puzzles.  The tasks that are selected for you will depend upon the information gathered from your history, medical notes as well as the interview with you, including any discussions with others involved in your care. You may feel that some of the tasks are not very relevant to your current difficulties but each is specially designed to help us build a complete picture of your strengths and difficulties. You will be offered a break during each testing session but please do not hesitate to ask for additional breaks if required.

Who will be in the assessment?

A clinical neuropsychologist or one of their support staff will conduct the assessment with you.  It is important that the room is quiet and free from distraction, as this will ensure that you achieve the best possible results during testing. Therefore, family members, friends or carers who have come with you are asked not to stay in the room during the testing process. Your relative, friend or carer is welcome to use the waiting area or other hospital facilities while you are completing the assessment.

When will I get my results?

Your clinical neuropsychologist will discuss the assessment results with you at a separate appointment. Please note that we are unable to give feedback on results during the assessment process, as the tests need to be scored and interpreted. Once you have received your feedback verbally and had an opportunity to discuss your results with the neuropsychologist, a report summarising the results and recommendations will be sent to you, the referring doctor/treatment team and your GP.

Are there any risks or complications?

Neuropsychological assessments are considered non-invasive and do not require any physical examination, injections or drugs. Some people may however experience some tiredness or fatigue afterwards.

How should I prepare for the assessment?

No special preparation is required, although you should avoid any activities that are likely to leave you more fatigued on the day of the assessment. There is no need to stop taking any prescribed medications but you should avoid alcohol and/or recreational drugs in the 24 hours preceding your appointment.

Please let us know at the beginning of the session if you have difficulties with hearing, reading, writing or colour vision.  If you wear a hearing aid or require reading glasses, please remember to bring them with you.

What if I do not want to have a neuropsychological assessment?

It is entirely up to you to decide whether or not you would like to participate in a neuropsychological assessment.  If you have any concerns, you can discuss this with your neuropsychologist during the initial session.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist on telephone number: (01482) 461486.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.