The counselor must conduct a diagnostic interview with every consumer. The interview can be completed at the same time as the application for services. The primary purpose of the diagnostic interview is to get information that is relevant to determining eligibility.

The interview is an opportunity to find out:

  • whether the consumer has a traumatic brain injury or traumatic spinal cord injury;
  • when the injury occurred;  
  • what symptoms the consumer’s is experiencing;  
  • what treatments are being used; and
  • the consumer’s rehabilitation goals from the consumer’s perspective.

A diagnostic interview includes:

  • a thorough examination of the consumer's medical history and/or disability history;
  • the information needed to determine whether the consumer is eligible for services; and
  • information that may be used later, during assessment, to develop an Individualized Written Rehabilitation Plan for eligible consumers.

Prepare for the diagnostic interview by:

  • reviewing existing information already provided by the consumer or the consumer's family or representative; and
  • identifying specific focus questions to ask the consumer about the consumer's disability history and treatment and the consumer’s perspective on its impact.

Encourage the consumer to speak freely since only the consumer can describe what he or she has been experiencing about perceptions of disability and rehabilitation impact.

To accomplish the purpose of the interview, you must direct the course of the interview to gather the information needed to establish eligibility.

In addition to the consumer's perspective, record your impressions of the consumer's behavior and how that behavior will:

  • impact the consumer's ability to benefit from the CRS program; or
  • help the consumer choose an appropriate rehabilitation goal.

Through probing and exploration, the productive diagnostic interview establishes information that helps you understand:

  • how well the consumer is adjusting to his or her disability;
  • the consumer’s support system; and
  • the consumer's available resources.

Exploring disability history may reveal the need for further diagnostic review. Order records and/or purchase evaluations as necessary.