Examining the beneficial effect of neuropsychological assessment on adult patient outcomes: a systematic review
Objective: Neuropsychological assessment (NPA) addresses important aspects of diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and rehabilitation planning. This review set out to determine the impact of NPA on the adult patient’s outcome, by examining how and whether NPA influences diagnostic decision-making and surgical planning, how NPA can be used to predict patient outcome, and how clients, referrers, and significant others perceive the value of NPA. Method: Eligible studies were selected according to pre-defined selection criteria and accessed via the electronic databases Medline and PsycInfo. Results: Eighty-one studies were included, with 14 examining the influence of NPA on diagnosis, 62 in predicting outcomes, and 5 addressing the perceptions of NPA by users. The evidence was generally supportive of the value of NPA for its ability to increase the accuracy of diagnoses, to assist with decisions regarding surgical planning, to predict patient outcomes, and in its clinical benefit as reported by physicians and patients. Conclusion: The review demonstrated the benefit of NPA in assisting with diagnosis and prognosis, and showed positive findings with regard to consumer perceptions of NPA. The neuropsychological literature would materially benefit from high-quality randomized control trials of NPA to definitively demonstrate the efficacy of this measure in clinical management.