Psychiatric evaluation Mental Status Exam

Useful bedside psychiatric

The mental state examination (MSE) forms a cornerstone of a clinical evaluation in a variety of settings, including psychiatry, neurology, and medicine. It can also be an important part of an evaluation in a medical-legal setting. Like a physical or elementary neurological examination, the MSE tends to follow a standard approach, although the content and depth of the examination may vary, depending on what discipline is doing the examination and for what reason. This article reviews the general principals of the MSE in a medical-legal context, and how the MSE may be important to the expert witness consultant. The MSE can be divided into two sections: the psychiatric and cognitive state exams. In some clinical settings, one or the other is focused on, although assessment of both are appropriate in most clinical and forensic settings, where mental state may play a role in the legal question being asked. The examination assesses current state, and does not reflect past symptoms, functions, or behaviors. However, it may be very important to compare a current exam with previous exams for changes. Aspects of the examination occur throughout the meeting with the client or subject of the exam, such as behavior, speech (reflecting his or her thinking), and presentation.

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