The experience of Neuropsychological assessment: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Blake, N. (2004) The experience of Neuropsychological assessment: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. D.Clin.Psychol. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Objectives. This study investigated the experience of neuropsychological assessment from the patient’s perspective. It sought to gain an understanding of how the patient viewed the purpose of assessment and how the patient experienced the assessment process. It explored the impact of the assessment of the patient’s sense of self and elicited patients’ views about what was particularly helpful or unhelpful about the assessment process.

Design. A within-group qualitative design was employed to investigate the experiences of nine men and women who presented for neuropsychological assessment in the context of an outpatient assessment clinic or as part of an evaluation for a rehabilitation programme.

Method. Verbatim transcripts of semi-structured interviews were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Results. Six master themes were identified: Expectations of assessment, context of referral, experience of process, impact on self, components of a good assessment and experience of illness/disability. The findings indicated that patients are poorly prepared for assessment but come with positive expectations for information that will help them understand and cope with their impairments. Their relationship with the psychologist is central in determining the quality of their experience and in facilitating improved self-esteem, coping and better awareness of cognitive strengths and deficits.

Conclusions. It is concluded that neuropsychological assessment can have an educative and therapeutic function that should be further exploited in a diagnostic and rehabilitation context. The findings are considered in relation to the literature on sharing a diagnosis, coping with illness and the client-clinician relationship. The implications of the research findings for clinical training and neuropsychology service provision are discussed and consideration given to future research opportunities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0475 Therapeutics. Psychotherapy
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Miss Rosemary Cox
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2018 09:46
Last Modified: 04 May 2018 02:55

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00