Neuropsychological assessment is a performance-based method used to assess cognitive functioning. This assessment is used to examine the cognitive consequences of brain injury and mental illness. Formal testing clarifies current strengths and weaknesses with respect to memory and thinking skills and examines the impact on daily functioning, academic activities (where needed), and emotional functioning.
There are three broad goals of neuropsychological assessment. The first goal is to provide a diagnosis and to determine the nature of the underlying problem. The second goal is to understand the nature of any brain injury or cognitive problems (neurocognitive deficits) and the impact on the individual, as a means of devising a rehabilitation program or offering opinion as to an individual’s ability to carry out a certain tasks (for example fitness to return to work). And lastly, assessments may be undertaken to measure change in functioning over time, such as to determine the consequences of a surgical procedure or the impact of a rehabilitation program.