Objective: This study aims to expand upon previous research by characterizing the attitudes/preferences of referring providers who utilize neuropsychological services. Method: A 31-question survey link, along with a description of the rationale, was disseminated across several professional listservs and email lists, and data was collected over a 6-month period from individuals who refer for neuropsychological services (N = 81). Survey questions included referring provider preferences (e.g., ideal time frame for receiving the neuropsychological report, preferred length/format of the report, sections of the report they read and consider essential, comfort level with recommendations, and open responses regarding other general preferences) as well as narrative details about useful aspects of neuropsychological services versus areas of desired change. Results: The represented referring providers included epileptologists (18), neurologists (12), psychologists (11), other various physician specialties (10), social workers (9), non-physician medical providers (9), psychiatrists (8), and legal services (4). Most referring providers prefer shorter reports (2-4 pages), in bullet-point/table format for ease of readability, and receipt of the completed report within 2 weeks. Approximately half of the respondents reported reading the entire neuropsychological report, with the background, developmental/medical, and educational histories being the least frequently read sections. Nearly all respondents indicated they are satisfied with neuropsychological services overall and agree that the referral question is satisfactorily answered, the findings are communicated clearly, and the diagnostic impressions are logical. Referring providers appreciate most recommendations by neuropsychologists, with the exception of those regarding laboratory work, medications, and other medical procedures. The most useful aspects of neuropsychological services included the thoroughness and integration of the evaluation/report, along with the impressions, diagnoses, and recommendations. Recommendations for future practice included shorter reports, increased availability of neuropsychological services, and more concise impressions and recommendations. Generally speaking, few differences in preferences and satisfaction were noted across provider specialties, patient populations, or practice settings. Conclusion: These findings are generally consistent with prior literature that referring providers are satisfied with neuropsychological services overall. The current findings also expand upon the previous research, specifically, that referring providers prefer reports to include bullet-point/table format due to ease of reading and do not read some sections of the report, most likely due to already having an adequate understanding of their patients' background. Illuminating aspects of neuropsychological services perceived to be the most and least useful by consumers of these services provides valuable information to practitioners, particularly in the context of rapidly changing institutional and healthcare demands.
- Professional issues
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health