Neuropsychological testing formally evaluates a person’s
brain functioning by testing many different aspects of thinking skills
(such as memory, attention, language, and vision), movement, sensation,
behavioral, and emotional functioning.
Many neuropsychological tests simply involve the person answering questions
out loud for the psychologist who then writes down the answers, although
some paper and pencil testing and minimal use of a computer sometimes
The length of an appointment for neuropsychological
assessment 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 four to five hours, which may
occur in a single meeting or be spread across more than one meeting.
In complex cases, the interview component alone may take four to five
hours. In such cases, patients almost always choose to return on a separate
day for testing, where in most cases the second appointment can be scheduled
close to the first evaluation date.
Actual neuropsychological testing time also varies but can last anywhere
from 2.5 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, use the restroom if needed,
or even break for lunch.
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 out to the professional requesting the evaluation.
Patients have a right to their medical records and
when requested facilitation of patient ability to obtain the report
occurs when clinically appropriate. When questions or comments about
the content of the report arise, a follow-up feedback session can be
scheduled with Dr. McIntyre.
Yes. It is often helpful for the neuropsychologist
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
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. McIntyre 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.
You will be interviewed and tested by Dr. McIntyre.
Yes. This is because the neuropsychologists would like
to evaluate you when you are functioning at your best possible level.