Why refer a patient to a neuropsychological service?
Neuropsychological assessment can:
- Assist with the diagnoses of various neurological and neurodegenerative conditions
- Determine the presence of a brain injury and the consequences of the injury on the individual’s life
- Determine decision-making capacity, testamentary capacity, or need for guardianship
- Identify cognitive strengths and weaknesses (e.g. for vocational or rehabilitation purposes)
- Help monitor cognitive changes over time (e.g. following an accident, neurosurgery or neurodegenerative condition)
- Assess people with developmental disorders (e.g. ADHD, learning disorders)
- Intellectual disabilities (such as Down syndrome)
- Brain injury following hypoxia and long-term drug or alcohol abuse
What information is required?
For medico-legal assessments, in which a comprehensive report is required to act as expert evidence the following information is required:
- Solicitor’s letter of instruction, detailing the questions to be addressed
- Medical and hospital records relating to both physical and mental health conditions
- Copies of any previous neuropsychological assessments or psychiatric reports
For some assessments, the following might be helpful:
- Education or school reports; Criminal history
- Medication information
Your client may wish to bring any medication that must be taken regularly. Please advise me before the assessment if your client is taking any opiate-based pain medication, or other strong medication likely to impair concentration or attention.
A neuropsychological assessment will usually last a full morning or afternoon. It’s best to advise your client of this in advance. If your client is coming from some distance, it is advisable that they arrive in good time, refreshed and not fatigued from lengthy travel. Fatigue compromises the integrity of the assessment. There will be time for your client to have short breaks.
Accessibility, Transport and Parking
The practice is conveniently located just off Canning Highway, and well serviced by public transport to and from various localities around the metropolitan area of Perth (rail and bus). A map can be found here.
The practice is accessible to wheelchairs. Please advise beforehand if your client uses a wheelchair.
English Competency and Interpreters
If your client is of non-English speaking background please ensure their English is sufficient for the purpose of a neuropsychological assessment. While an individual’s English may be sufficient for many specialist appointments, this does not necessarily mean it is adequate for a neuropsychological assessment. As a guide, the client should be able to converse in English without difficulty. If you are unsure whether your client needs an interpreter, please contact the office in advance to discuss.
If an interpreter is needed, an interpreter will need to be arranged by your office in advance. An accredited interpreter must be used for medico-legal or forensic assessments. Telephone-based interpreting services are not adequate for neuropsychological assessments. The interpreter should be booked for a minimum of four hours per session to avoid the need to re-schedule and incur further fees. It is not appropriate to use family or friends in place of professional interpreters.
It is helpful if a family member or friend accompanies your client to the appointment so that they can provide further details and information, and a collateral history. If there is no one available on the day, with your client’s permission, a nominated person can be contacted by phone at an agreed time and date.
No Show/Late Cancellations
As this practice is in high demand, failure to attend or late cancellations will incur a fee.
Please ask your client to bring along photo identification such as a driving license or passport. Alternatively a photograph will be taken of your client for identification purposes.