Psychiatric Evaluation

Psychiatric evaluation is defined as a systematic evaluation of the causes, the symptoms, the course and the consequences of a psychiatric disorder in order to formulate a diagnosis and a treatment plan and to answer any questions the patient or referring specialist may have. The main components of a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation are the patient interview and observations of the patient’s behavior. The comprehensiveness of the psychiatric evaluation is affected by contextual, patient-related and situational factors. In the psychiatric diagnosis, a distinction is made between the diagnostic classification (according to the DSM-IV-classification) and structural diagnosis. The sequence of the elements of the psychiatric evaluation is based on medical tradition. In the mental-status examination, all objective and subjective psychiatric symptoms are systematically reviewed. The grouping of the symptoms is based upon the classical division of mental functions into cognitive, affective and conative functions.


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