Discriminating cognitive screening and cognitive testing from neuropsychological assessment: implications for professional practice

Cady K. Block, Doug Johnson-Greene, Neil Pliskin, Corwin Boake

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: To provide clarification on the distinction between cognitive screening, cognitive testing, and neuropsychological assessment and highlight practical implications. Method: Non-systematic brief clinical review. Results: There is a present lack of explicit distinction between the various levels of measurement of cognitive functioning with regard to goals, indications for use, levels of complexity, and outcome. There is also a lack of guidance regarding the identification of who should be responsible for the administration and interpretation at each level. Conclusions: There is a growing awareness of the importance of cognitive health and disability, and of the importance of measurement of cognitive functions across the lifespan. For example, cognitive screening has been mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, and language contained within new psychiatric diagnostic criteria and healthcare regulatory changes reflect increased consideration of the importance of measurement of cognition. Changes such as these necessitate greater clarity on this important issue as it bears implications for professional practice, which ranges from education and training competencies, practice standards, and the way that neuropsychologists clarify and advocate for the value of specialty referrals for comprehensive assessment in a competitive and ever-changing healthcare market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-500
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017


  • Cognitive screening
  • clinical neuropsychologist
  • cognitive testing
  • neuropsychological assessment
  • neuropsychologist

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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