The Neuropsychology Assessment Program prides itself on providing comprehensive patient care and considers patient sasisfaction to be a high priority, while at the same time maintaining scientific objectivity and integrity. We believe we have been able to strike this important balance, as evidenced by our recent awards in 2009 for consecutively earning the highest hospital-wide patient satisfaction scores for clinical services that use non-Press Ganey outpatient satisfaction surveys.
Phone: 315 464-2320
Consistent with our goal to keep patients and their families informed, we have composed this list of questions and answers for you to help you better understand what a neuropsychological evaluation involves before the appointment and to answer the most common questions we have received over the years.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does neuropsychological testing involve?
Neuropsychological testing will formally evaluate how your brain is functioning by testing many different aspects of thinking skills (such as memory, attention, language, and vision), movement, sensation, behavioral, and emotional functioning. Many tests simply involve you responding out loud to the examiner but there is some paper and pencil testing and minimal use of a computer.
How long is the appointment?
The answer to this question varies greatly depending on the patient and the complexity of the presenting problem. In straightforward cases, it may be possible to complete the entire evaluation (interview and testing) in five to six hours. In other cases, the interview component alone can take four to five hours. Most patients are asked to return on a separate day for testing. We can almost always schedule the second appointment close to first evaluation date. The actual testing time varies but can last anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, depending on the complexity of the case, the number of tests that need to be used, and the referral questions. During testing, there are ample opportunities to stretch and use the restroom if needed.
How long does it take for the report to be completed?
This varies, but all efforts will be made for a report to be generated within two weeks of the evaluation date. The report will then be mailed to the referral source by our administrative assistant.
Will I be able to get a copy of the report?
Patients have a right to their medical records and can always request them from the Clinical Data Services department at University Hospital (315-464-4310). We try to facilitate your ability to obtain a copy of the report when clinically appropriate. If there are any questions or comments about the content of the report, patients are asked to contact the Neuropsychology Assessment Program at 315-464-2320 so they discuss this with the neuropsychologist.
Should I bring a family member?
Yes. It is often helpful for the neuropsychologists to interview a family member to learn more about you and your symptoms. If you do not have a close family member, a close friend is also appropriate to bring.
Can a family member sit in on the evaluation?
Family members are encouraged to sit in during the clinical interview, but cannot sit in during the actual testing because this can cause distractions and because the tests were not normed with third parties in the room. The official position of the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) is that 3rd party observers should not sit in on neuropsychological testing. One exception Dr. Carone provides for this (consistent with NAN guidelines) is that parents can sit in on the testing if the child has extreme separation anxiety. However, this would be noted in the neuropsychological report and could affect the test results.
Who will be testing me?
You will be interviewed and tested by the neuropsychologist. Sometimes, a trained graduate student pursuing a degree in psychology or a psychology intern will help administer the tests but this would be under the direct supervision of the neuropsychologist. Please note that only the neuropsychologist selects the tests and interprets the results.
Are any of the neuropsychologists board certified?
Yes. Dr. Carone is board certified by the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN) which operates through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). Board certification attests to excellence in meeting the advanced education, training, and professional standing established by ABCN and ABPP as well as examination by peers in the specialty, attesting to the demonstration of practice at the specialty level.
Should I (or my child) take my/his/her medications (e.g., Ritalin) before the testing?
Yes. This is because the neuropsychologists would like to evaluate you when you are functioning at your best possible level.