Mental Status Examination

A mental status examination (MSE) is a method used by clinicians to assess and report an individual’s current mental and cognitive functioning. Many clinicians use mental status examinations to help formulate their diagnostic impressions when psychopathology is suspected. Particular domains of functioning are assessed through interviews and the examiner’s observations.

For individuals who work broadly in the field of medicine, but even more so in a mental health domain, an understanding of an MSE is essential to communicate and interpret information pertinent to an individual’s current functioning. Although the topics or domains covered in an MSE may vary, some categories are particularly useful and relevant across settings. This entry examines the topics or domains typically covered in an MSE, including an individual’s appearance, behavior or ...

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