The Role of the Neuropsychologist in Life Care Planning
This chapter provides a history of the field of neuropsychology. It addresses the various roles for a neuropsychologist, focusing on utilization of the evaluation process to assist in treatment planning. The chapter examines how a life care planner might select a neuropsychologist with whom to consult, the elements of the neuropsychological evaluation, and the methods used by neuropsychologists for interpreting data obtained in a neuropsychological examination. Many patients are referred for neuropsychological evaluation to assess their cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and to obtain information about behavioral alterations and personality characteristics. When selecting a neuropsychologist, it is important to ensure that the provider is appropriately trained and has the skills necessary to evaluate the individual for whom referral is sought. Client factors to be considered include ethnicity, age, and presenting diagnosis. There are some neuropsychologists who use a fixed battery approach. Most neuropsychologists use a flexible battery approach to address the referral questions.