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NURS 8302 DQ The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales

NURS 8302 DQ The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales


Psychiatric assessment is an important activity that enables the determination of the health problems and needs of patients with mental health problems. The three most important components of psychiatric interview include presenting complaint, family history of psychiatric illnesses and mental status examination. The presenting complaint section provides information about the subjective experiences of the patient with the health problem. The presenting complaint section provides the basis of future assessments to be made in determining the health problem and needs of the patients (Wright, 2020). The information on family history of psychiatric illnesses provide information about the genetic predisposition of health problems. The presence of family history of some mental health problems could predispose patients to mental health problems due to genetic influences. For example, patients with history of depression are highly at a risk of developing depression due to the role of genetics. Mental status examination is the other critical component of psychiatric interview. Mental status examination enables mental health nurses to determine the mental health functions, abilities, and behaviors of the patients within a given period. The information obtained from mental status examination is used for the development of diagnosis for the patient’s health problem (Foster et al., 2016). The information is also used to validate the diagnosis and evaluate the changes in mental functions and behaviors over time.

The assigned rating scale is Quality of Life in Depression Scale (QLDS). The quality of life in depression scale is used to measure the quality of life for patients with mental health problems including depression. The tool provides insights into the impact of the disease and its management on the life of the patient. The assessment of the impact of the disease on the patient is examined based on aspects such as changes in social life, cognition, personal hygiene, sleep and rest and social and occupational functioning (Cao et al., 2016). The QLDS has good internal consistency and reliability with highly acceptable validity (Arrieta et al., 2018). Therefore, it can be used for assessing clients during the psychiatric interview, as it can provide nurse practitioners with accurate information about the client’s perceived level of disease effect on the quality of life.


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Arrieta, H., Rezola-Pardo, C., Echeverria, I., Iturburu, M., Gil, S. M., Yanguas, J. J., Irazusta, J., & Rodriguez-Larrad, A. (2018). Physical activity and fitness are associated with verbal memory, quality of life and depression among nursing home residents: Preliminary data of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Geriatrics, 18(1), 80. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-018-0770-y

Cao, W., Guo, C., Ping, W., Tan, Z., Guo, Y., & Zheng, J. (2016). A Community-Based Study of Quality of Life and Depression among Older Adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(7), 693. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13070693

Foster, A., Seritan, A. L., & Lomax, J. W. (2016). The Psychiatric Interview. In N. R. Rao & L. W. Roberts (Eds.), International Medical Graduate Physicians: A Guide to Training (pp. 83–99). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39460-2_6

Wright, A. J. (2020). Conducting Psychological Assessment: A Guide for Practitioners. John Wiley & Sons.

NURS 8302 DQ The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales

The word “professional” probably connotes expertise equivalent to the word, help, be it a lawyer, accountant, social worker, teacher, or physician. In other terms, in a person’s need for help, he or she is expected to “tell-all” and expose oneself in hopes to get the help that that person needed (MacKinnon, Michels, & Buckley, 2016). However, to provide the support needed, the ability to extract information as much as possible is only through an interview. Therefore, one of the two essential concepts of interviewing are the four tasks which include (1) building a therapeutic alliance, (2) obtain a psychiatric database, (3) interview for diagnosis, and (4) negotiate a treatment plan with the patient (Carlat, 2017). It is evident in Carlat’s statement that building a rapport or alliance is essential because being successful in this stage will open the door to the next part of the interview. In other words, it is the professional’s responsibility to set up a comfortable atmosphere that is suitable for a client to communicate and expose oneself and later facilitate the formulation of help needed for specific problems. In this case, once rapport is set, the client will provide as much information, thereby more understanding of the physician or clinician that will subsequently allow diagnosis of the sickness or disorder.

The key to diagnosing disorders is through signs and symptoms that can only be gained from the structured interview process. In other words, because of the fluidity of psychiatry, it must have structured and standard rating scales to ensure valid, accurate, and reliable assessments of pathological symptoms (Moller, 2008). Rating scales are gold standards created to assess successfully and quantitatively patients most feasibly and realistically (Suzuki, 2011). There several rating scales used for different disorders. Among the many rating scales, scales are used for schizophrenia and its positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS). Another rating scale is the Simpson Angus Scale (SAS) to test for extrapyramidal symptoms. SAS is used in conjunction with the abnormal involuntary movement scale (AIMS) and (Barnes akathisia scale (BARS). These different psychiatric rating scales are essential to confirm the clinical validity of the various symptoms specific to every psychiatric disorder that can sometimes overlap due to their presentations’ similarities.


MacKinnon, R.A., Michels, R., & Buckley, P.J. (2016). The Psychiatric interview in clinical practice (3rd ed.). American Psychiatric Association Publishing

Carlat, D.J. (2017). The psychiatric interview (4th ed). Wolters Kluwer.

Möller H. J. (2009). Standardised rating scales in psychiatry: methodological basis, their possibilities and limitations and descriptions of important rating scales. The world journal of biological psychiatry : the official journal of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry10(1), 6–26. https://doi.org/10.1080/15622970802264606

Suzuki T. (2011). Which rating are scales regarded as ‘the standard’ in clinical trials for schizophrenia? A critical review. Psychopharmacology Bulletin44(1), 18–31.

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