Clinical Interviewing of the Patient and History in Neuropsychological Assessment

  • Andrew Phay
  • Carol Gainer
  • Gerald Goldstein


Although most of this volume is concerned with the application of formal tests to the assessment of brain-damaged patients, few would deny the importance of some form of clinical assessment as a component of a comprehensive evaluation. Users of standard test batteries may not use clinical data in selecting tests to be administered, but may make extensive use of such material in their interpretations and report preparations. Neuropsychologists who use flexible test batteries may also use clinical data in interpretation, but the actual selection of tests may be based in whole or part on the initial interview and the review of historical material. The major exception to the practice of conducting an initial interview and taking a history prior to test administration is in the case of those clinicians who prefer to do blind interpretation, and who do not want to review the history or even see the patient prior to making an interpretation based exclusively on test data. The practice of blind interpretation is a controversial matter, with compelling justifications provided by those for and those opposed to it. It seems likely that the wisdom of using blind interpretation or not using it is a complex matter involving one’s approach to neuropsychological assessment, the context in which one practices, the relative significance of research and direct patient care goals in one’s practice, and the degree of independent clinical responsibility of the neuropsychologist.


Clinical Interview Neuropsychological Assessment Initial Interview Brief Psychiatric Rate Scale General Clinical Practice 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Phay
    • 1
  • Carol Gainer
    • 2
  • Gerald Goldstein
    • 3
  1. 1.Veterans Administration Medical CenterMurfreesboroUSA
  2. 2.Veterans Administration Medical CenterMurfreesboroUSA
  3. 3.Veterans Administration Medical CenterPittsburghUSA

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