Learning Objectives: At the end of this lecture, you should be able to:
- Identify the components of a mental status examination:
Behavior and Motor Activity
Mood and Affect
Insight and Judgment
- Be able to distinguish between some commonly confused terms,
such as affect v. mood, insight v. judgment, hallucinations
- Be able to describe intelligently the presentation of a patient with psychiatric symptoms.
Questions for Self-Study:
1. Conduct a mental status examination of yourself.
Have a classmate do the same. What differences exist between
the two exams and why might this be? What elements of a mental status examination
require an objective third party?
2. Recall a character from a movie you recently saw. Pretend this character presented to your clinic for psychiatric evaluation. Based on the information you had available, what would his/her mental status examination be like?
3. Which elements of the mental status examination do you think are most unreliable? Which are most objective and reproducible? Which do you think would vary the most from observer to observer?