When to Ask for a Neuropsychological Assessment, or a Cognitive Functional Capacity Evaluation
The following chart outlines the differences between neuropsychological assessments and cognitive functional capacity evaluations. First, let’s start with definitions:
A Neuropsychological Assessment is a performance-based method of assessing cognitive functioning. It is used to examine the cognitive consequences of brain injury and mental health diagnoses.
The assessment includes standardized psychological tests, including:
- Validity scales
- Preinjury cognitive function
- Executive functioning
- Processing speed
- Problem solving
- Spatial perceptual function
- Motor speech and coordination
- Normative comparison linking findings to mechanism of injury.
Recommendations are provided regarding cognitive abilities, restrictions/limitations, diagnoses, prognoses and treatment recommendations.
Cognitive Functional Capacity Evaluation
A Cognitive Functional Capacity Evaluation (CFCE) includes functional testing from a physical and cognitive perspective. The outcome is a report that demonstrates capabilities with regards to a particular job. It requires information about the essential job demands, either through formal CDA/PDA, verbal job analysis or information from a database such as ONet.
A CFCE examines the fit between the client’s cognitive functioning and the demands of the job in question. The assessment is focused on work-related executive function. The evaluator considers the physical, functional/cognitive, perceptual/sensory, communicative, psycho-emotional and behavioral issues that may be present in the client post-concussion, CVA, mental health issue, etc.
Recommendations are provided regarding feasibility for employment, overall work capacity and return-to-work goals.
|Referral Questions Answered||Neuropsychological Assessment||Cognitive Functional Capacity Evaluation|
|Cognitive Abilities, Limitations/Restrictions|
& Suggested Accommodations
|-Physical Work Capacity||x|
|-Cognitive Work Capacity||x||x|
|-Capacity for Work Overall||x||x|
|-Graduated RTW planning||x|
|Job Match Comparison (with PDA/CDA)||x|