Referral Question and Chief Complaint

The first task of a neuropsychological assessment is to clarify the reason for referral. Patients are typically referred for neuropsychological assessment by other clinicians involved in their care, often for assistance in diagnosis and treatment planning. After the referral question is ascertained, the patient is seen and a chief complaint is elicited, including a clear description of the onset and course of the complaint (e.g., symptoms, concerns) as well as information regarding the medical and social context in which the problem(s) emerged. The patient's overall understanding of the rationale for the consultation and appreciation of his/her current circumstances is also sought.

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