As part of the clinical trials investigating new treatments or natural history studies exploring the effects of diseases, such as cancer and neurofibromatosis type 1, we conduct comprehensive assessments of children, adolescents, and adults to identify strengths and weaknesses in neuropsychological functioning and to monitor changes in these areas over time. Such neurobehavioral outcome measures may be used to assess toxicities and/or benefits of treatment.
In these assessments, we use psychometric tests to evaluate a wide range of abilities including cognition, memory, attention, processing speed, executive function (types of goal-directed behavior), language, visual-motor abilities, academic achievement, and fine motor skills. We also administer standardized measures as well as novel assessment techniques that we have developed to evaluate various behavioral domains, such as adaptive skills, attention and hyperactive behaviors, quality of life, medical adherence, pain, family coping, and emotional functioning such as depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. Data obtained from these measures are useful in determining specific needs for intervention, provide important information about factors that may influence adherence to treatment and disease outcomes, and are helpful in generating recommendations for follow-up psychoeducational services.
The results of these comprehensive assessments are discussed with the patient and primary caregiver. In addition, reports of these finding can be provided when requested to assist with finding appropriate educational and psychological interventions at home.