Mental Status Examination
The mental status examination (MSE) is a structured assessment of the clinically relevant areas of a client’s behavioral, emotional, and cognitive functioning. It includes descriptions of the client’s overall appearance, comportment, and behavior; it also describes a client’s thought and perceptual processes and content, emotional state, and cognitive abilities, including level of consciousness, orientation and attention, and insight. By coalescing these important domains, the MSE paints a picture of the client at a given point in time.
KeywordsMental status exam Observation Evaluation Interviewing
Preparation of this chapter was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (grant T32MH073553). The authors also thank Brittany Mosser, MSW, and Nova Rivera, MSW, MPH, for their thoughtful suggestions for this chapter.
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