Clinical Psychologists

Cognitive impairment is a serious handicap in patients with severe brain injury. Those with diffuse injuries are more likely to suffer loss of cognitive function than those with focal brain damage [17]. A frequently encountered impairment is loss of short-term memory. This results in inability to carry out serial tasks, as the patient forgets what he has done previously. Cognitive impairment has serious implications for safety in ADL as well as taking medication. Patients tend to wander away and be prone to accidents, as well as being a threat to the safety of others. They may lack insight and initiative, show little interest in the rehabilitation program and also exhibit unsociable behavior. They may have poor concentration and difficulty in coping with compensatory strategies and managing devices such as orthoses and electronic equipment.

Psychologists assess patients with suspected cognitive or behavioral difficulties and advise on strategies that are incorporated into goal planning and activities in OT and SLT. In addition, they assist in the management of stress-related disorders and behavioral therapy. Psychological assessment involves a battery of tests to assess memory, anxiety levels, depression, etc. These tests are also used to assess progress and outcome, safety on discharge and may be useful to the neuropsychiatrists who often assist in the management of difficult patients.

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