Assessment in Neuropsychology

Assessment in Neuropsychology

Assessment in Neuropsychology

Assessment in Neuropsychology

Synopsis

Assessment in Neuropsychologyis a practical handbook devised to provide information and advice for the many professionals who use neuropsychological tests in their everyday work. Contributors were selected for their expertise in a particular field and chapters on included on the assessment of children, language, visual impairment, memory and intelligence. Clear and concise, with all the necessary information in a easy-to-use format, this book will quickly become the most frequently referred to guide in the area of neuropsychological test selection and application. A valuable addition to the shelves of clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and researchers into brain damage and deficit.

Excerpt

The word ‘assessment’ conjures an adverse emotional reaction in many people. We have all at some stage undergone an assessment in some form—for instance, when sitting an examination—and many of us have found it a distinctly unpleasant experience. Why should we make assessments of people, and even more to the point, why launch a series of volumes on the subject?

Assessment is usually to do with making a judgement about an individual in relation to a large group of people, based on the acquisition of a body of knowledge concerning that individual. the professional believes that it is necessary to make such an assessment as a basis for deciding a particular course of action. This activity is considered to be predominantly in the best interests of the person being assessed, but at times will also protect the interests of society, or an organization, such as a company. Whether or not one agrees with the concept of making an assessment, the practice continues in our society, even if it waxes and wanes in some professional sectors. Our own view is that assessment is here to stay and in many cases is beneficial to the individual.

It is important that the best available means of assessment are used by professional workers to provide an accurate body of knowledge on which to base decisions. Errors of diagnosis can sometimes have serious consequences. the national press seems to report almost every day on situations in which diagnosis has been problematic, such as releasing a violent prisoner prematurely, or making erroneous accusations of child abuse, and so on. Less dramatic situations would be ones in which a child is inaccurately assessed and is then put on a training programme which is not appropriate for his or her needs, or where an elderly person is inaccurately considered as unable to live in his or her own home and transferred to another environment. Given that many of these assessments are essential, improving their accuracy is a worthwhile goal. If this series of volumes is instrumental in improving accuracy to some degree, we shall be well pleased.

As well as inaccurate use of tests, breakdown of communication between professions can lead to wrong decisions and inappropriate therapy or

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