Monday, 25 June 2012

Neuropsychology classics I: Frontal lobology

This paper is a classic to me. It came out in 1992, and apart from being amusing, it immediately struck a chord in my fledgling neuropsychological mind. In it, Anthony David states that  "The frontal lobes constitute approximately one-third of the brain. Therefore, localising a disturbance to this region is rather like a person directing a visitor to an address marked 'Europe.'"

You can read this succinct paper here:

Reading it again, 20 years on, there are still valid arguments for describing what we mean when we see "frontal" or "executive" dysfunction. Is it poor planning and organization, disinhibition, emotional control, self-monitoring, or any one of a number of behaviours that have come to be synonymous with frontal dysfunction? What is more helpful to understanding a patient - the label of frontal impairment or dysexecutive syndrome, or a clear and individualised description of the actual problems the person is encountering?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Neuropsych practice resources II: Consumer-focused psychological assessment

Another favourite article for the reflective neuropsychologist who wants to provide excellent services. Thanks, Eliot Brenner!

Consumer-focused psychological assessment.
By Brenner, Eliot
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 34(3), Jun 2003, 240-247.
To enhance the clinical utility of psychological assessments, the author recommends a consumer-focused approach to health care marketing--the "Four Rs": relevance, response, relationships, and results (J. English, 2000). Research suggests 5 responses psychologists can take to increase the relevance of psychological assessments: (a) eliminate jargon, (b) focus on referral questions, (c) individualize assessment reports, (d) emphasize client strengths, and (e) write concrete recommendations. To build relationships with consumers, psychologists should collaborate with them when formulating referral questions and providing feedback of assessment results. Finally, psychologists should use the results of consumer satisfaction studies to improve the clinical utility of psychological assessments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Neuropsych practice resources I: Survival tips for neuropsychologists in inpatient rehab settings.

In the coming months, I hope to share some of my favourite practice articles. 
This first one is worth obtaining for those working in multidisciplinary teams, or for neuropsychologists setting up a new service in an existing health service - whether rehabilitation or not. It talks about the importance of developing relationships with the other team members, and for different ways to demonstrate what you can do as a neuropsychologist. Thanks to Kelly Blair and Patrick Gorman for writing this piece back in 2003. It's still relevant today!
Survival Tips for the Neuropsychologist in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Setting.
By Blair, Kelly L.; Gorman, Patrick W.
Rehabilitation Psychology, Vol 48(4), Nov 2003, 310-313.
Objective: To assist neuropsychologists in adapting productively to the unique culture of the inpatient physical rehabilitation setting. Specific Aims: Identify potential problem areas in accommodating neuropsychological presence and practice in this environment, highlight steps to a more constructive adjustment to this unique clinical milieu, and identify predictable pitfalls if these adjustments are not made. Conclusion: Neuropsychologists who understand this culture and can speak the language of the physical rehabilitation setting have much to offer the patients, their families, and the other treating professionals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

If you're a member of the Australian Psychological Society, remember that you can use the  EBSCO host service to access articles. The link to the service is: