Dr. Tina Trudel Addressing Foundations of Neuropsychology at NABIS Clinical and Legal Conferences in Miami

Neuropsychological evaluation is a core component of assessing the impact on behavior, cognition and function, of brain injuries of all types.  The principles of neuropsychological evaluation are based on assumptions of standardization, reliability, validity and comparisons with normative data.  This pair of NABIS presentations, by Lakeview’s Dr. Tina Trudel, will address these complex issues, with examples from actual clinical cases - some of which were subjects of litigation.  Recommendations for how to convey neuropsychological findings to laypersons and the benefit of reporting in percentiles will be reviewed. Neuropsychological testing has its foundation in the analysis of brain-behavior relationships.  Initially developed prior to the age of neuroimaging, it continues to provide valuable data.  The process varies from screening to comprehensive evaluation, and the degree to which psychological status is assessed, a necessity after BI.  The strength of the evaluation also is influenced by test selection, validity measures, assessment of the family, interview of collateral informants, foundation in peer reviewed literature, review of medical and psychosocial history and information on the cause of injury.  Attorneys should be aware of specific challenges to quality and validity, such as the use of testing technicians, the relationship between specificity and sensitivity, biases toward ruling in versus ruling out, base rates of common disorders, estimates of pre-morbid status, special populations (history of learning disability, post-chemotherapy, users of narcotic pain medications, etc.) and their common confounds; frequently occurring psychological conditions; and the impact of cognitive aging and dementia in neurologic and typical populations.  The most common categories of errors will be addressed: errors in data collection, errors of data interpretation and errors in data integration.  For more information, please go to www.nabis.org.

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