Fixed Battery Approach

The fixed battery approach to neuropsychological assessment was developed primarily by Ralph Reitan and his colleagues. As the name suggests, practitioners of this approach typically utilize a standard set of tests in the context of assessment and do not vary this battery, if possible. The battery is designed to assess each major cognitive domain and therefore ensures a comprehensive assessment of every patient. A clear advantage of this approach is the ability to detect deficits that are unsuspected or not otherwise evident. Another advantage is that practitioners of this approach become very familiar with the subtleties of the battery and develop a greater sensitivity to slight variations in the performance of component tasks. Disadvantages of this approach include inefficiency (i.e., a time-consuming battery is administered in all cases, including those for whom more focused assessment would be sufficient) and lack of flexibility. Some have also criticized the fixed battery approach for insufficient assessment of key functions, including memory.

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