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Chapter 1. The Psychiatric Interview and Mental Status Examination

John Barnhill, M.D.
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585625031.102925

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Excerpt

The psychiatric interview involves multiple goals. A differential diagnosis and treatment plan are expected, for example, as are a mental status examination and the interviewer’s synthesized perspective on the history of the patient’s present illness. The risk of suicide and homicide must be assessed, as should potentially dangerous medical conditions and substance use disorders. It can be crucial to obtain detailed information about the developmental and social history as well as prior psychiatric treatments. An alliance and a therapeutic effect are both reasonable expectations, as is some sort of psychological understanding of the patient. The completion of an often-lengthy computerized form has become an increasingly common requirement. This is a lot to complete in an hour, especially when the clinician is also expected to be kind, tactful, patient, and friendly.

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Performance of the interview
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Core interviewing techniques
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Derailing errors
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Types of situations
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Outline of the interview write-up
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Mental status examination

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