Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Important items of mental state examination

Appearance: attire, cleanliness; posture and gait

Behaviour:  facial expression; cooperation or aggression; activity, agitation, level of arousal (including physiological signs)

Speech:  form and pattern; volume and rate; is it coherent, logical and congruent with questioning?

Mood:  apathetic, irritable, labile; optimistic or pessimistic; thoughts of suicide; do reported experience and observable mood agree?

Thought:  particular preoccupations; ideas and beliefs; are they rational, fi xed or delusional? Do they concern the safety of the patient or other people?

Perception:  abnormalities including hallucinations occurring in any modality (auditory, visual, smell, taste, touch)

Intellect:  brief note of cognitive and intellectual function; is the patient orientated in time, place and person? Is the patient able to function intellectually at a level expected from his or her history?

Insight:  how does the patient explain or attribute his or her symptoms?

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