AFMC National Clinical Skills Working Group Evidence-Based Clinical Skills Document

Table 3: Mental Status Examination

Mental Status Examination
1. AppearanceAssess general health, self-care, dress, posture etc.Able to assessAssess; Interpret
2. BehaviourAssess facial expression, eye contact, abnormal movements etc.As aboveAs above
3. Level of consciousnessAssess whether alert, drowsy, ability to focus or pay attentionAs aboveAs above
4. Speech and languageAssess quality i.e. fluency, slurring or quantity i.e. rapid, pressured and content e.g. Logic relevance As aboveAs above
5. Mood and AffectAssess prevailing emotional tone (mood) and moment-to-moment expression of emotion (affect).As aboveAs above
6. OrientationAssess memory and perceptual abilities to recall name, place and time.As aboveAs above
7. MemoryAssess long-term, recent memory, immediate recall and new –learning abilityAs aboveAs above
Thought Content

A) Delusions

B) Hallucinations

C) Illusions/Delirium

D) Paranoid thinking

E) Suicidality

F) Homicidality
C) Confusion assessment method

E) Elicitation of suicidal ideation
C) Inouye, 1990.

E) Shea, 1998.
May describe

May describe
May describe

Assess; Interpret
InsightAsk if patient appreciates her situationAble to assessAssess, Interpret
JudgementDoes the patient appreciate the consequences of their actions.
Higher cognitive function

A) Knowledge

B) Calculation

C) Abstraction

D) Perception and Constructional Ability
-test fund of information e.g. Serial “7’s” eg. Test similarities – e.g. draw a clock or copy figure

Mini-mental status examination (MMSE)
Positive clock-drawing tests suggests dementia + LR 9.6

Manos, 1994.
Able to administer testsInterpret