Test results can be used to understand an individual's situation in a number of ways. A neuropsychological evaluation may contribute to decisions about:
o Rehabilitation issues
o Ability to return to work
o Ability to function independently
o Tracking of changes in functioning over time
o Educational and vocational planning
The goal is to help the person being evaluated to safely function at the maximum level of independence.
1. Test results can be used to plan treatments that use strengths to compensate for weaknesses. The results help to identify problems to work on and which strategies to use. For example, the results can help to plan and monitor rehabilitation or to follow the recovery of skills after a stroke or head injury.
2. Scores on specific tests have a relationship to everyday functional skills such as the level of care or supervision required, managing medication regimens, managing money, driving, or readiness to return to work or school. Testing can therefore guide discharge planning from the rehabilitation setting.
3. Testing can be used to help differentiate among illnesses. This is important because appropriate treatment depends on accurate diagnosis. Different illnesses result in different patterns of strengths and weaknesses on testing. For example, testing can help to differentiate normal age-related changes in thinking and memory from those due to a neurological disorder such as Alzheimer's disease, or from depression.