Assessing Quantum and Quality of Mental Health Issue Using MSE

Assessing Quantum and Quality of Mental Health Issue Using MSE
Mental Status Examination

Assessing Quantum and Quality of Mental Health Issue Using MSE

MSE or Mental Status Examination is a structured, integral, and essential skill that allows one to conduct a structured assessment of a patient’s behavioral and cognitive functioning. The psychiatric evaluation skill allows the psychiatric to identify any signs and symptoms of mental illness and the associated risk factors. Usually incorporated in every mental health assessment, it can also be used to diagnose the individual’s current mental health status and the possible areas of intervention.

When conducting MSE, a psychiatrist must keep the following principles in mind:

  • Make the concerned individual feel comfortable. Be open about the reason for meeting them.
  • Respect the patient’s privacy but don’t compromise on open discussions.
  • Acknowledge the patient’s concerns.
  • Avoid misinterpretation by noting down the patient’s verbatim.
  • Be aware about the patient’s age, ethnicity, language, etc. to avoid any sort of misinterpretation.
  • Ask about the patient’s physical health issues (if any) that may impact their mental health. 

Principles of MSE

The MSE includes all the 10 aspects of an individual i.e. appearance, behavior, speech, mood, affect, perception, insights, cognition, thoughts, judgment, clinical judgment, and rapport (if required). Let us take a closer look at each one of them. 

  1. Appearance : Observe and see if an individual’s personal appearance reflects any signs of mental illness. If they are well-groomed, that does not necessarily mean that they are mentally stable. It is important to have a discussion with the patient regarding their mental state by asking them questions such as whether they had any trouble in getting ready, are they able to spend time on self-care, etc. Notice whether their position is slouched or open, do they use any psychoactive substances, are there any signs of withdrawal from alcohol abuse, current usage, neurological signs, and others. 
  1. Behavior : An individual’s behavior should not be used for stigmatizing mental illness. Keep a check on an individual’s behavior by studying and analyzing his/her mannerism, gestures, body language, facial expressions, eye contact, physical activity, disinhibited behavior, level of arousal and any type of abnormal movement. 
  1. Speech : Observe and study the patient’s speech by assessing the paralinguistic features such as volume, rhythm, pitch, tone, fluency, articulation, quantity, route, and latency.
  1. Mood : The mood of a patient is his/her subjective and objective aspect of emotional state and reflects his/her underlying emotion. It is important to keep a note on whether the patient’s mood changes during the meeting, what is the frequency of this mood swing, how are they feeling, etc. Keep a note of their words as this would leave no scope of misinterpretation later. 
  1. Affect : This is an observational aspect of the study and involves the assessment of an individual’s body posture, facial expressions, tone, and others. 
  1. Thoughts : Keep a check on your patient’s thoughts by analyzing their stream of thoughts, the quantity and form of thoughts, any sort of thought withdrawal/insertion, how are they replying to a thought, obsessions and compulsions, blocking, mutism, pressure of speech and derailment. 
  1. Perception : It is a condition in which an individual becomes aware of what is presented to its body through its sense organs. A perception can also involve other health conditions that can mimic other mental illnesses and alter an individual’s perception including his/her ability to concentrate, trouble in keeping track of their thoughts and conversation, their experience with perceptions, their substantiality of normal perception, their experience of non-auditory hallucinations, etc. 
  1. Cognition : Cognition is related to checking an individual’s level of memory, attention, alertness, and orientation. This test is done to evaluate an individual based on their level of orientation, their ability to answer questions like their exact age, date of birth, their current setting, their ability to identify visual and spatial relationship among objects, to name a few. 
  1. Insight and Judgment : An insight into an individual’s mental health problem is identified by gathering as much information as possible from the patient themselves. Judgment is the individual’s ability to solve everyday problems. An individual’s insight into the problem can be either its complete denial, slight awareness of being sick, being aware of being sick but blaming on others, believing that sickness is caused due to some unknown factor, being aware that they have a mental illness but not applying it to future and emotional awareness of the feelings. 
  1. Clinical Judgment and Risk Assessment : The last step of MSE is to conduct the clinical assessment and let the patient know the next steps to be taken. Identifying any risk factors associated with them such as physical risks (diabetes and medical conditions), risk of self-harm, risk to finances, risk to children, and others are all a part of risk assessment.

 Treatment is Available

Once the diagnosis of a mental health condition is done, it is necessary to seek help immediately. If you would like to know and understand this condition in detail and would like to work with someone dealing with any form of mental illness, Athena Foundation is the place to be. Offering you the best courses at most affordable prices, you get to learn from the top industry experts. Interested to know more about our courses? Contact us today at +91 9599093700 or drop us an email at to know the complete details about the psychology courses offered by different universities across the country and abroad.

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