Evaluations: Why They Are Important
Individuals receiving services from Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation will likely start with an “initial evaluation.” Whether participating in one or several therapies, receiving psychological treatment, or engaging in the process of job re-entry, an evaluation is an essential tool that health care providers use to develop treatment plans customized specifically for each individual.
All Comebacks Have a Starting Line
Evaluations are necessary because they identify the skills, abilities, and behaviors affected by a person’s brain injury at that given moment. Using information gathered from the evaluation, the treatment team establishes a baseline – or starting point – for their patient. This starting point helps identify what areas need to be addressed, which serves as the foundation for building a treatment plan that works.
Depending on what services a person is receiving, some examples of what an evaluation may look for are the ability to perform:
- Physical movement
- Activities of daily living
- Memory retention or retrieval
- Intellectual processing or problem solving
- Fine and/or gross motor skills
- Concentration and attention
- Balance and visual perception
You Cannot Fail an Evaluation
Evaluations always begin with review of a person’s medical history. After obtaining medical records and talking with a patient and/or his or her family, a therapist may ask you to perform certain movements or tasks while recording the results on paper or a computer. You cannot fail an evaluation! These tests are in place only to identify what you can do currently so a plan can be established to improve areas that may be lacking. At Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation, the results of everyone’s evaluation will look different and our plans are customized based on each person’s situation.
Neuropsychological evaluations are an essential component to establishing a complete treatment plan for individuals receiving multiple services. These evaluations are typically more complex in nature, but provide the most detailed look at how a person’s brain injury is affecting his or her overall behavior and performance. A neuropsychological evaluation typically includes a review of medical history and records, an interview with the patient and/or his or her family, and a series of written or verbal tests. The results are reviewed by a neuropsychologist who uses the information to help answer questions such as:
- Will I walk again?
- Can I ever go back to work?
- Why do I get so angry all the time?
- Why do I feel so tired?
- Can I go back to living alone or will I always need a caregiver?
- Am I able to go back to school?
A neuropsychological evaluation identifies many areas affected by brain injury that cannot be seen by scans or medical imaging. It is a significant tool that helps estimate the outcome of a person’s recovery and highly suggested at the onset of an active rehabilitation plan.
It’s Important to Track Progress
Once treatment has started, additional evaluations will be conducted periodically to measure the same skills and behaviors that were assessed initially. This allows the therapist and treatment team to see what skills have improved. There’s no greater motivation than seeing progress being made! Evaluations also identify areas that continue to cause concern. Using this information, the treatment team can consistently review treatment strategies and make adjustments when the current process isn’t resulting in consistent improvements.
For information about the evaluations we use – or any of the services we offer at Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation – contact our admissions team.