Civil Competencies in Clinical Neuropsychology
Clinical neuropsychologists are increasingly involved in the evaluation of civil capacities and are in demand by other professionals, particularly attorneys and judges, to assist their decision-making about these sometimes complex issues. While there has been some neuropsychological research in this area, this has not been assembled into a single volume nor have practice recommendations been provided. This volume fills these gaps. The first part of this volume reviews and synthesizes the research literature on neuropsychological aspects of civil capacities. The specific capacities addressed include driving, financial and healthcare decision-making, testamentary (i.e., will-making) capacity, and personal care and independence. Each chapter addresses relevant background issues, conceptual/theoretical advances, and empirical findings. The chapters also include an illustrative case study that demonstrates how the authors (each expert in the various areas) evaluated and conceptualized the case. Each chapter is written from an evidence-based perspective and, where appropriate, uses research to inform practice recommendations.
The second part of this volume provides recommendations to practitioners on how to conduct civil capacity evaluations that utilize neuropsychological assessment. There are chapters on an evaluative framework for the assessment, capacity test selection and psychometric issues, working with other data sources besides testing (e.g., collateral interviews), best practices in report-writing and testifying, as well as common ethical issues in such cases. Throughout, these chapters provide practical "how to " advice to improve neuropsychological practice and consulting in civil capacity cases. In addition to these chapters, there is a chapter written by legal consumers of psychological reports. This chapter offers a wealth of useful information and recommendations that, if followed, will further serve to advance psychological report-writing and consultation in civil capacity evaluations.