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Psychological assessments are designed to measure key aspects of psychological function. They include cognitive abilities such as memory, concentration, socioemotional functioning (how well a person does emotionally in social situations), personality factors, and behavioral difficulties. These evaluations are used to provide important information for:
- Clarifying diagnoses and inform treatment plans
- Identifying strengths and weaknesses
- Providing insight into ways to improve functioning
A psychological assessment is not a one-size-fits-all, quick test. Rather, it includes a thorough clinical interview, followed by the administration of tests tailored to the patient’s specific issues. Finally, it gives detailed feedback to the patient or the referring clinician (or both) on the results of the assessment. The process can last up to several hours. It varies depending on the tests administered, the complexity of the clinical challenge, and individual characteristics of the patient. Upon completion of the psychological assessment, the evaluator writes a comprehensive report and schedules a feedback session to review the testing results and discuss treatment recommendations.
- Pre-surgical evaluations assess a patient’s suitability for surgery, identify psychiatric conditions, and suggest possible post-surgery outcomes
- General mental health assessment and differential diagnostics clarify diagnoses and make treatment recommendations
- ADHD and learning disability testing evaluates for ADHD and specific learning disorders
- Intelligence/cognitive testing measures various cognitive abilities
- Personality testing identifies underlying personality characteristics
- Neuropsychological screenings provide clues to deficits in executive functioning
Psychological assessments do not include full neuropsychological testing for neurological illnesses. For such evaluations, patients need to be referred to a neuropsychologist.