When Psychological and Brain Trauma Co-Occur: PTSD and Mild TBI in Adults

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
12:00pm - 1:30pm Eastern time
1.5 CE Credits

 

Presented by:


  Jennifer J. Vasterling, Ph.D.
Chief of Psychology, VA Boston Healthcare System
Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine
Affiliated Investigator, Behavioral Science Division of the National Center for PTSD

   
 
Laura J. Grande, Ph.D.
Director of Clinical Neuropsychology, Psychology Service, VA Boston Healthcare System
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine
Adjunct Instructor of Psychology (Psychiatry), Harvard Medical School
     

Many events that lead to mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are also psychologically traumatic or occur in the broader context of ongoing psychological trauma.  In such cases, individuals may experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  This presentation focuses on the clinical complexities of co-occurring mTBI and PTSD.  The presentation will cover the epidemiology of PTSD following TBI; cognitive, neural, psychological, and contextual mechanisms that may complicate recovery; the clinical presentation of mTBI and PTSD, with a focus on neuropsychological, emotional, and functional features; and implications for neuropsychological assessment and treatment/rehabilitation.  Case examples will be interwoven with discussion of the empirical literature.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe common clinical features associated with co-occurring mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  2. Discuss potential mechanisms that may complicate recovery from psychological and brain trauma following TBI events that are also psychologically traumatic.
  3. Utilize premorbid, post-injury, and assessment information in assessing patients with history of mild TBI and current PTSD. 
  4. Explain limitations in sole reliance on neuropsychological test data to make differential etiological attributions of mild TBI vs. PTSD. 

Target Audience: Neuropsychologists, rehabilitation psychologists, and other psychologists working with adult patients with history of mild traumatic brain injury

Instructional Level:
Intermediate

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Registration closes 30 minutes prior to the live presentation.

 


Dr. Jennifer Vasterling is the Chief of Psychology at VA Boston Healthcare System, a Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, and an affiliated investigator of the Behavioral Science Division of the National Center for PTSD.  Trained as a clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Vasterling’s research has centered on neurocognitive correlates of PTSD and the longitudinal emotional and neuropsychological outcomes of war-zone participation.  She has edited several books, the most recent of which addresses co-morbid PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury.  Dr. Vasterling currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Neuropsychology and Psychological Assessment, is a current member of the INS Board of Governors, and is a former president of APA Division 40 (Society for Clinical Neuropsychology).

Dr. Laura Grande is the Director of Clinical Neuropsychology at VA Boston Healthcare System, and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine.  Dr. Grande’s research interests include neuropsychology of aging, with a specific interest in selective attention and development of clinical assessment tools. Additional interest in memory and TBI and the impact of PTSD on cognitive and neuropsychological functioning.  She serves the Co-Director of the Clinical Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellowship at VA Boston Healthcare System.

Effective Use of Medical Interpreters in a Neuropsychological Evaluation

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
12:00pm - 1:30pm Eastern time
1.5 CE Credits

 

Presented by:
Margaret Lanca, Ph.D.
Director of Adult Neuropsychology and Psychological Testing and Training, Cambridge Health Alliance
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Although there is a general consensus in neuropsychology that “best practice” for evaluating patients with limited English proficiency is to have bilingual/bicultural neuropsychologists, there are instances when this ideal is not attainable.  With the rise of multicultural evaluations in our profession, many neuropsychologists are using medical interpreters.  Interpreters both facilitate and pose challenges to an assessment.  This webinar will describe a framework for using interpreters most effectively within a culturally-informed neuropsychological evaluation and avoiding common pitfalls that can negatively impact an evaluation.  Topics of effective interpreter use at each stage of an assessment will be presented, highlighting general constraints of a multicultural assessment and how they interface with interpreter use.  A brief interview with an experienced medical interpreter for neuropsychological testing will provide practical insights for improving interpreter preparation and skill-level for neuropsychological evaluations.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Outline considerations for electing to use a medical interpreter in a neuropsychological evaluation.
  2. Describe elements of culturally-informed assessments and how interpreters interface within the cultural context.
  3. Discuss effective strategies and common pitfalls of interpreter use at each stage of an assessment.

Target Audience: Clinical neuropsychologists and neuropsychology trainees

Instructional Level:
Introductory

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Registration closes 30 minutes prior to the live presentation.

 

Dr. Maggie Lanca is the Director of Adult Neuropsychology and Psychological Testing and Training at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) in Cambridge Massachusetts and Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  At Cambridge Health Alliance, Maggie directs the neuropsychology service and oversees training of the neuropsychology intern and postdoctoral fellows.  She teaches in the Psychiatry department and she frequently lectures at Harvard Medical School on neuropsychology.  Her teaching reflects her interests and specialties in cross-cultural neuropsychology.  Her clinical and teaching scholarship has focused neuropsychological assessment patients of different ethnicities and languages and she frequently conducts assessments in Portuguese, her native language.  She has spoken nationally and published on cross-cultural neuropsychology.  In addition to her academic and clinical work, Maggie is committed to the advancement of our field and has been involved in professional advocacy for psychology through various committees and boards.  She is currently the President of the Massachusetts Psychological Association and Past President of the Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society.