While the central goal is a diagnosis of a psychological disorder and its relatedness to injury (as well as a determination of whether the disorder is disabling), there are five other functions of a psychological exam:
1. Since the exam, and travel to the exam, spans an entire day, it lets the patient see how many hours they can perform sedentary tasks. This is very often a great deal more productive hours than the patient believed he/she was capable.
2. The exam enables the patient to discuss, often for the first time, the true reason (often fear of failure) that they do not return to the workforce and their limited concept of employment options.
3. The exam allows the patient to confront what if any progress has been made physically and whether they are willing (or beginning) to accept the chronicity of at least some of their complaints.
4. The exam helps redirect patients who are spending their days tracking complex medication regimens, interspersed only with watching mindless television
5. And the exam very often assists the patient in realizing that tensions in the home are wholly emerging from the patient_s failure to assume control of their own future.
While the exam is intended to be solely diagnostic, inevitably when a patient begins to discuss fears and concerns, there is a therapeutic benefit as well.