Mental Status Examination
Along with history, the mental status exam is an essential component of a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation of an older adult. Many aspects of the exam are similar across younger and older patients. However, the provider evaluating an older adult needs to be aware that older adults may be more likely to experience sensory impairments, have physical health issues that can contribute to fatiguing more easily, and generally have slower information processing compared with younger adults, all of which may impact the exam. Additionally, the cognitive evaluation of an older adult compared with a younger adult generally requires a more extensive assessment because of higher risk and occurrence of neurocognitive disorders with aging. This section will review the approach to the mental status exam in an older adult.
KeywordsMental status exam
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