A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who specialises in understanding how the brain works and how changes to the brain can impact on behaviour, mood and thinking skills, such as concentration, memory or problem solving.
Reasons for referring someone for assessment may include:
- Identify changes to a person’s thinking skills and developing an understanding of how this links to their current health or functioning (e.g., is this related to their history of stroke, new diagnosis of dementia, is it mood relate, etc).
- Get a clear picture of a person’s thinking strengths and weaknesses post injury, like a traumatic brain injury for example, and then using this information to help their participation in various daily activities, school, work, driving or a rehabilitation program.
- Perform a review assessment, in which progress over time is measured (usually occurs when a person has previously had a neuropsychological assessment).
- Obtain an opinion regarding a person’s decision making capacity for finances, health or lifestyle issues.
- Medicolegal assessments and preparation of reports with recommendations for the criminal courts system (e.g., person with a known or suspected ABI who is involved in the Justice or Corrections system).
Looking to organise a Neuropsychological Assessment consultation with Dr. Michelle Morandin? Please fill out the form below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some questions that we find are important to both patients and families.
A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who specialised in understanding how the brain works and specifically how changes to the brain can impact on thinking skills (also called cognition), behaviour and mood.
People present for a variety of conditions such as:
- Acquired brain injury, closed head injury or concussion from an accident
- Alcohol or drug related brain injury
- Mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety or Schizophrenia
- Various neurological conditions, such as stroke, brain tumours, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, hydrocephalus, hypoxia, meningitis to name only a few.
- Changes to thinking associated with ageing, such as confusion, delirium, mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
- Intellectual disability
The assessment usually begins with an interview, in order to get to know the person and their relevant background. Following this they are given a variety of paper and pencil tasks, puzzles and memory questions which give insight into various aspects of their thinking, such as attention, memory and problem solving.
This depends on the type of assessment requested. Assessments with very simple referral questions can take 2 hours. More complex, medicolegal assessments can take up to 5 hours. On average most assessment take approx. 3 hours. Assessments may be completed in one sitting (with breaks) or spread over a few sessions.
The neuropsychologist may need to interview other people involved, such as family, friends or other support providers. They also take time to score your assessment and write a comprehensive report with the findings and a set of recommendations. The client is then offered a follow up session to discuss these findings. Ongoing intervention or counselling is then negotiated.
This will depend on the complexity of the case and the number of hours needed. Fees are slightly below the hourly rate recommended by the Australian Psychologist Society (APS). Please contact Dr Michelle Morandin to discuss the fee structure further.
Referrals are accepted from individuals making a ‘self-referral’. GPs. other health practitioners, support people or funding bodies can make referrals for neuropsychological input. It is imperative that the individual is aware that they have been referred.
Unfortunately Medicare does NOT cover neuropsychological assessments. Some private health funds may cover part of the fee for a neuropsychological assessment; however it is the responsibility of the patient to enquire with their respective health fund regarding available rebate DVA, TAC, WorkSafe and the NDIS may cover the cost of a neuropsychological assessment. Privately funded by the client.