THE PROCESS OF NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING
PRIOR TO THE DAY OF TESTING
It is important to get a good night’s rest before the neuropsychological evaluation. Patients who live far away might consider spending the evening prior to the evaluation at a local hotel or with friends or family rather than getting up and driving or flying most of the night to get to the appointment. Patients are encouraged not to consume any alcohol 24 hours prior to the evaluation. If taking sleep medicine, patients should check with their doctor whether it might affect test performance the next day.
The patient should bring a current list of ALL medications.
If the patient has difficulty providing information about their history, it is helpful for a family member or friend to accompany them (for at least part of the clinical interview).
It is helpful if the patient can provide records of previous neurodiagnostic testing (e.g., brain scans such as CT or MRI scans) and/or results from previous neuropsychological evaluations if completed at another hospital or institution.
It will be important to bring in insurance card and picture ID which will be needed during the check-in process.
If you wear prescription eyeglasses or have hearing aids please bring them with you for the appointment.
If you printed out any intake forms from our website and have already filled them out, please bring them to the appointment. If you have not had time to complete the intake forms, please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of your scheduled appointment to allow you time to complete the necessary paperwork.
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE DAY OF THE EVALUATION?
Upon arriving at the office you will check-in to provide staff with the intake forms and any corresponding materials (e.g., photo ID, insurance card). You can also provide staff with any supplemental medical/neuropsychological records, if there are any available.
The neuropsychological evaluation typically begins with a clinical interview that typically takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour. This will allow Dr. Burchette to better assess your history of any medical illnesses/diagnoses, cognitive concerns, educational/occupational history, and psychological/psychosocial factors.
After the interview, the individual will begin the formal testing process which is some combination of verbally-based tasks (e.g., repeating a series of numbers or words), visually-based tasks (e.g., paper-and-pencil tests or pointing to answers from a selection of options), and/or computer-based tasks. Administration of the testing is typically done by Dr. Burchette or a trained, skilled psychometrist.
A complete evaluation generally can take between two and five hours to complete, but it can take up to eight hours, depending on the complexity of the issues to be addressed by the evaluation and the individual’s condition (for example, medication effects, fatigue, confusion, and motor slowing can extend the time required for an evaluation). Breaks are allowed throughout testing. In addition, the individual will be offered time for a lunch break for evaluations that fall between that time window.
AFTER YOU HAVE COMPLETED YOUR EVALUATION. WHAT'S NEXT?
After leaving our office it will be important for you to schedule a follow-up with your referring doctor to discuss your neuropsychological results within the greater context of your medical history and incorporate these findings with any other clinical findings. You should schedule this appointment for 2 to 3 weeks after you have completed the entire neuropsychological testing evaluation.
After you have completed the neuropsychological evaluation, Dr. Burchette will begin writing a detailed report that includes important information obtained from the clinical interview, test data score, and diagnostic conclusions. Information will be provided on your cognitive strengths and cognitive weaknesses as well as your psychological functioning. The report will often include recommendations based off of your particular testing profile. The report will be sent to your referring doctor.
After following up with your referring doctor, you may want to get more information about the specific data from your neuropsychological evaluation. If that is the case, please contact our office (201-577-8286) to schedule a feedback appointment and Dr. Burchette will gladly discuss your test results and what they mean in the "real-world" setting.