Occupational Health Assessments following Acquired Brain Injury/Stroke

A significant proportion of people who have had an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) or stroke will acquire changes in their thinking skills, such as a difficulty in remembering or in processing information quickly. Clinicians will refer to these changes as cognitive deficits or cognitive changes following organic injury to the brain.

Patients should be screened early in their care for cognitive deficits following and ABI/stroke, but such screening measures, do not produce detailed results and are inadequate for answering certain clinical, legal and employment questions. For those people who have cognitive deficits identified through screening, an assessment by a clinical psychologist or neuropsychologist can help establish in more detail the nature and extent of their cognitive deficits in order to address certain questions.

One important question to ascertain is whether the patient can perform the job they were doing before they had their ABI/stroke. Employers and other parties may ask this question, including professional registrative bodies that ensure their members are fit to practice or pension companies who want to find out if the patient is entitled to an ill health pension.

Assessment establishes the patient’s current cognitive status, establishing any deficits, strengths/weaknesses and likelihood of further recovery/prognosis. Opinion is given as to whether the patient’s cognitive abilities are adequate to perform a role or whether they should be considered for a role with fewer cognitve demands. Sometimes the recommendation is that the cognitive difficulties are severe enough to mean paid employment is not realistically possible. The assessment includes a number of reliable and valid tools; including making full use of the patient interview, carer/family interview(s), initial patient presentation and various psychometric assessments and effort tests. The psychometric assessments will be chosen based upon the nature of the stroke (and anticipated pathology and neuropsychological implications), on the psychometric strengths of the tests (reliability/validity/ecological validity), the anticipated floor & ceiling of the patient’s cognition, and often base the tests chosen in relation to the tasks and complexities of the patient’s job (the job description is important as a source of  information).

Dr Moore provides occupational health assessments, including fitness to practice assessments, entitlement to pension assessments and Equality Act cases.

All enquiries to: psychologyassessment@yahoo.co.uk