Conducting a Diagnostic Interview With a Mental Status Exam
Before moving through diagnostic decision making, a social worker needs to conduct an interview that builds on a biopsychosocial assessment. New parts are added that clarify the timing, nature. and sequence of symptoms in the diagnostic interview. The Mental Status Exam (MSE) is a part of that process. The MSE is designed to systematically help diagnosticians recognize patterns or syndromes of a person’s cognitive functioning. It includes very particular, direct observations about affect and other signs of which the client might not be directly aware. When the diagnostic interview is complete, the diagnostician has far more detail about the fluctuations and history of symptoms the patient self- reports, along with the direct observations of the MSE. This combination greatly improves the chances of accurate diagnosis. Conducting the MSE and other special diagnostic elements in a structured but client-sensitive manner supports that goal. In this Assignment, you take on the role of a social worker conducting an MSE.
To prepare: Watch the video describing an MSE. Then watch the Sommers-Flanagan (2014) “Mental Status Exam” video clip.