Deciding to adopt revised and new psychological and neuropsychological tests: an inter-organizational* position paper

Shane S. Bush, Jerry J. Sweet, Kevin J. Bianchini, Doug Johnson-Greene, Pamela M. Dean, Mike R. Schoenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Neuropsychological tests undergo periodic revision intended to improve psychometric properties, normative data, relevance of stimuli, and ease of administration. In addition, new tests are developed to evaluate psychological and neuropsychological constructs, often purporting to improve evaluation effectiveness. However, there is limited professional guidance to neuropsychologists concerning the decision to adopt a revised version of a test and/or replace an older test with a new test purporting to measure the same or overlapping constructs. This paper describes ethical and professional issues related to the selection and use of older versus newer psychological and neuropsychological tests, with the goal of promoting appropriate test selection and evidence-based decision making. Method: Ethical and professional issues were reviewed and considered. Conclusions: The availability of a newer version of a test does not necessarily render obsolete prior versions of the test for purposes that are empirically supported, nor should continued empirically supported use of a prior version of a test be considered unethical practice. Until a revised or new test has published evidence of improved ability to help clinicians to make diagnostic determinations, facilitate treatment, and/or assess change over time, the choice to delay adoption of revised or new tests may be viewed as reasonable and appropriate. Recommendations are offered to facilitate decisions about the adoption of revised and new tests. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of individual neuropsychologists to determine which tests best meet their patients’ needs, and to be able to support their decisions with empirical evidence and sound clinical judgment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-325
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018


  • Test revision
  • psychometrics
  • reliability
  • test selection
  • updated test
  • validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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