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Clinical assessment and investigation in psychiatry

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Hamish McAllister-WilliamsORCiD, Dr David Cousins, Professor Brian Lunn


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Assessment of patients with mental health problems is often seen as very different from assessment in other areas of medicine. However, such assessments actually share much in common with taking good histories in any area of medicine. They should be conducted in a systematic way using good interview techniques. A clear knowledge of signs of mental illness (such as delusions and hallucinations) is essential for an accurate assessment of a patient's difficulties. While there are few real diagnostic tests in psychiatry, appropriate investigation of patients includes an assessment of their physical health (and whether this might relate to their psychiatric presentation), formal and detailed assessment of their cognitive function (which can help characterize or localize possible brain pathology) and objective ratings of the severity of symptoms, and neuroimaging. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McAllister-Williams RH, Cousins D, Lunn B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Medicine

Year: 2008

Volume: 36

Issue: 8

Pages: 393-398

ISSN (print): 1357-3039

ISSN (electronic): 1365-4357

Publisher: The Medicine Publishing Company


DOI: 10.1016/j.mpmed.2008.05.008


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