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A Survey of Neuropsychologists' Practices and Perspectives Regarding the Assessment of Judgment Ability

A Survey of Neuropsychologists' Practices and Perspectives Regarding the Assessment of Judgment Ability

Abstract

Judgment is an important aspect of cognitive and real-world functioning that is commonly assessed during neuropsychological evaluations. This study utilized a brief, online survey to examine neuropsychologists' practices and perspectives regarding available judgment instruments. Participants (n = 290, 17% response rate) were randomly selected members of the International Neuropsychological Society and the National Academy of Neuropsychology. Respondents rank-ordered the following issues that should be incorporated into assessments of judgment (from most to least important): safety, ability to perform activities of daily living, and problem solving/decision making about medical, financial, social/ethical, and legal matters. A majority of respondents reported that they “often” or “always” assessed judgment when evaluating patients with traumatic brain injury (89%), dementia (87%), and psychiatric disorders (70%). Surprisingly, the top-ranked instruments were not tests of judgment per se, and included the WAIS-III Comprehension, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, and WAIS-III Similarities. Further, 61% of respondents were slightly confident, and only 23% were very confident, in their ability to assess a patient's judgment skills with their current tests. The overwhelming majority (87%) of respondents perceived a need for improved measures. Overall results indicate use of varied techniques by neuropsychologists to evaluate judgment and suggest the need for additional tests of this cognitive domain.
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