Timothy Shea, PsyD is CROM’s licensed neuropsychologist. Dr. Shea provides a number of psychological services including: neuropsychological evaluations, pre-surgical assessments, pain evaluations, and IMEs. Following evaluation, he or one of his staff can also provide follow-up behavioral and cognitive-behavioral interventions to provide assistance with adjustment following injury, driving anxiety, pain management, and related topics to assist the patient with a return to work/life.
A neuropsychological evaluation is an objective assessment of cognitive functioning including memory, attention, abstract reasoning skills, processing speed, and related areas. These skills may be affected by such things as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, and/or other related neurologic injuries. Cognitive functioning may also be affected by such things as stress, anxiety, and depression so we also assess for psychological functioning to help determine if emotional factors may be interfering with optimal cognitive functioning.
Pre-surgical evaluations determine a person’s psychological readiness to undergo a surgical procedure. It is important that the patient is able to follow-up and stay compliant with post-operative requirements. If the patient isn’t psychologically appropriate for a procedure, even a “successful” procedure from the surgeon’s perspective can still result in adverse outcomes. Pre-surgical evaluations are both for the protection of the patient and also for the managing provider(s).
Pain evaluations include a 90-minute interview to gather information about the injury, medical history, family and social history, and day-to-day functioning. Standardized psychological assessment is then administered on another date in order to determine diagnoses and recommendations. Once all the information is compiled, the patient follows up with Dr. Shea to review results and treatment recommendations, as indicated. Pain evaluations can also help identify somatization disorders and assist the referring provider with understanding if and how much psychological functioning may be contributing to the patient’s pain experience.
Independent medical evaluations (IME) are scheduled to determine the presence of any mental health diagnoses, including possible etiologies resulting with the functional capacity to perform duties at work and in daily life. The extent to which the mental health diagnoses identified are then related to any functional impairments and any treatment or rehabilitation needs of the patient, including estimated length of treatment. IME can also assist in differentiating legitimate cases from those that are not based on true impairment and/or are due to malingering for secondary gain.
If after assessment, psychoeduation and/or talk therapy may be needed to address mood changes; Behavioral Therapy (BT) and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be provided on an individual basis. An individualized treatment plan is developed based on psychological and/or neuropsychological assessment and empirically validated treatments are provided to the patient by Dr. Shea or one of his staff. Educational and interventional groups for pain management may also be offered, depending on availability and appropriateness for the patient. Cognitive rehabilitation is also available, which can help address mild to moderate cognitive impairment in order to improve overall daily functioning.