Fitness to Stand Trial: Views of Criminal Lawyers and Forensic Mental Health Experts Regarding the Role of Neuropsychological Assessment

Amanda J. White, Jennifer Batchelor, Susan Pulman, Dan Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The role of expert opinion, including neuropsychological assessment, in fitness to stand trial (FST) determinations has been viewed as advantageous by practitioners and empirical researchers. The purpose of this study was to examine the views of criminal lawyers and forensic mental health experts regarding the quality and usefulness of neuropsychological assessments in FST decisions within the Australian context. Thirty-five semi-formal interviews were conducted. Respondents' understanding of and experience with neuropsychology and cognitive assessment techniques were explored. Respondents viewed neuropsychological assessment as beneficial in FST cases, particularly those involving intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury or other organic brain disorders, although many had limited understanding and experience with the discipline. Mental health experts reported using varied cognitive assessment techniques and approaches to assessing the relevant legal (Presser) criteria. The perceived quality of neuropsychological reports was generally positive. Several barriers to comprehensive assessment were identified by respondents. Respondents identified areas for improvement for neuropsychological report writers.

LanguageEnglish
Pages880-889
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2015

Fingerprint

Lawyers
fitness
lawyer
Mental Health
mental health
expert
Neuropsychology
brain
Expert Testimony
Brain Diseases
Intellectual Disability
neuropsychology
Research Personnel
Interviews
Surveys and Questionnaires
experience
disability
writer
interview

Cite this

@article{09202f1ad1954607b5f84f770ad02eab,
title = "Fitness to Stand Trial: Views of Criminal Lawyers and Forensic Mental Health Experts Regarding the Role of Neuropsychological Assessment",
abstract = "The role of expert opinion, including neuropsychological assessment, in fitness to stand trial (FST) determinations has been viewed as advantageous by practitioners and empirical researchers. The purpose of this study was to examine the views of criminal lawyers and forensic mental health experts regarding the quality and usefulness of neuropsychological assessments in FST decisions within the Australian context. Thirty-five semi-formal interviews were conducted. Respondents' understanding of and experience with neuropsychology and cognitive assessment techniques were explored. Respondents viewed neuropsychological assessment as beneficial in FST cases, particularly those involving intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury or other organic brain disorders, although many had limited understanding and experience with the discipline. Mental health experts reported using varied cognitive assessment techniques and approaches to assessing the relevant legal (Presser) criteria. The perceived quality of neuropsychological reports was generally positive. Several barriers to comprehensive assessment were identified by respondents. Respondents identified areas for improvement for neuropsychological report writers.",
author = "White, {Amanda J.} and Jennifer Batchelor and Susan Pulman and Dan Howard",
year = "2015",
month = "11",
day = "2",
doi = "10.1080/13218719.2015.1015400",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "880--889",
journal = "Psychiatry, Psychology and Law",
issn = "1321-8719",
publisher = "Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group",
number = "6",

}

Fitness to Stand Trial : Views of Criminal Lawyers and Forensic Mental Health Experts Regarding the Role of Neuropsychological Assessment. / White, Amanda J.; Batchelor, Jennifer; Pulman, Susan; Howard, Dan.

In: Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Vol. 22, No. 6, 02.11.2015, p. 880-889.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Fitness to Stand Trial

T2 - Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

AU - White, Amanda J.

AU - Batchelor, Jennifer

AU - Pulman, Susan

AU - Howard, Dan

PY - 2015/11/2

Y1 - 2015/11/2

N2 - The role of expert opinion, including neuropsychological assessment, in fitness to stand trial (FST) determinations has been viewed as advantageous by practitioners and empirical researchers. The purpose of this study was to examine the views of criminal lawyers and forensic mental health experts regarding the quality and usefulness of neuropsychological assessments in FST decisions within the Australian context. Thirty-five semi-formal interviews were conducted. Respondents' understanding of and experience with neuropsychology and cognitive assessment techniques were explored. Respondents viewed neuropsychological assessment as beneficial in FST cases, particularly those involving intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury or other organic brain disorders, although many had limited understanding and experience with the discipline. Mental health experts reported using varied cognitive assessment techniques and approaches to assessing the relevant legal (Presser) criteria. The perceived quality of neuropsychological reports was generally positive. Several barriers to comprehensive assessment were identified by respondents. Respondents identified areas for improvement for neuropsychological report writers.

AB - The role of expert opinion, including neuropsychological assessment, in fitness to stand trial (FST) determinations has been viewed as advantageous by practitioners and empirical researchers. The purpose of this study was to examine the views of criminal lawyers and forensic mental health experts regarding the quality and usefulness of neuropsychological assessments in FST decisions within the Australian context. Thirty-five semi-formal interviews were conducted. Respondents' understanding of and experience with neuropsychology and cognitive assessment techniques were explored. Respondents viewed neuropsychological assessment as beneficial in FST cases, particularly those involving intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury or other organic brain disorders, although many had limited understanding and experience with the discipline. Mental health experts reported using varied cognitive assessment techniques and approaches to assessing the relevant legal (Presser) criteria. The perceived quality of neuropsychological reports was generally positive. Several barriers to comprehensive assessment were identified by respondents. Respondents identified areas for improvement for neuropsychological report writers.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84951906292&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/13218719.2015.1015400

DO - 10.1080/13218719.2015.1015400

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 880

EP - 889

JO - Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

JF - Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

SN - 1321-8719

IS - 6

ER -