Neuropsychology and the Hispanic Patient: A Clinical Handbook

Neuropsychology and the Hispanic Patient: A Clinical Handbook

Neuropsychology and the Hispanic Patient: A Clinical Handbook

Neuropsychology and the Hispanic Patient: A Clinical Handbook

Synopsis

By 2010, 15% of the U.S. population will be Hispanic. Neuropsychology and the Hispanic Patient: A Clinical Handbook brings together internationally recognized authorities to address the cultural, methodological, research, and forensic issues that must be considered by neuropsychologists seeking to be maximally effective in their work with members of the fastest-growing American minority group. It includes: * useful assessment decision trees; * summaries of normative data; * descriptions of tests available in Spanish; * extensive HIV and pediatric references; and * numerous charts and illustrations. Reflecting the latest demographic information and covering the developmental spectrum from pediatric to geriatric, this landmark Handbook will become an indispensable reference tool for clinicians and researchers alike.

Excerpt

“Move over John. Make way for Jose, which in 1998 became the most popular baby boy's name in California and Texas. ”

— Garvey & McDonnell, 1999

U. S. demographics are changing rapidly. Any test developer interested in having an accurate reflection of U. S. demographics in its normative base must of necessity include Hispanics. By 2010, a time when most current neuropsychological tests will need revision, 15% of the U. S. population will be Hispanic. By 2050, one in every four Americans will be Hispanic. Accurate representation of Hispanics in the normative database of our neuropsychological tools is not a political issue but a scientific one. How should test developers proceed with the appropriate representation of Hispanics in their tools? What cultural issues should neuropsychologists take into account in their assessment and treatment of Hispanic patients? This volume, Neuropsychology and the Hispanic patient: A Clinical Handbook, attempts to provide practical tools for the clinician working with this population.

In the era of cultural diversity, culture itself has become an obscure variable which defies operationalization. Thus, culture covers a multitude of ambiguities, from unexplained variance in research to variable performance on neuropsychological profiles. But the questions of what exactly is Hispanic culture and how it affects the clinical endeavor deserve objective answers. Otherwise culture could never be taken seriously as a contributing factor to test performance. Since culture falls in the purview of anthropologists and sociologists, their definitions are used to more objectively describe Hispanic culture in the first few chapters. The task of the neuropsychologist with different age groups is addressed in the subsequent chapters. Researchers and clinicians provide guidelines and paradigms to work effectively with this population across the age span. Much remains to be done; however, we are confident that the compilation of this information by leading people in the field will fill a void, stimulate dialogue and continue to encourage neuropsychological research with Hispanic populations in the United States.

Hispanic culture is interacting ever more boldly with the dominant American culture through its tangible products (music, art, cuisine, media, etc.) and through language. In 1999 the glitterati of pop culture in the United States, for instance, included names like Carlos Santana, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, and Marc Anthony, among others. Their style, their lyrics, and their music sketched an image of things to come: Rather than assimilation, there appears to be a mixture of two cultures with the emergence of yet a third distinct cultural identity, a mestizo culture. Thus, the task of clinical neuropsychologists with this population may be even more complex in the decade to come. How will we assess patients who are “speakin' la lingua loca” by 2010?

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