Scroll below or search in the bar for "Mental Status Exam: Behavioral Aspects" to see the first part of these posts. MSEs include an evaluation of both behavioral aspects and cognitive aspects. Today's post will include the second component of cognitive aspects. Come back on Friday for a question related to this topic!
Cognitive Aspects of an MSE
Whereas observation alone can be used to obtain information about behavioral variables, to collect data about cognitive functioning you must also actively question the client to elicit the material you need.
- Thought Content: Similar to flow of thought, thought content is reflected in the content of a client’s speech. Examples of abnormal thought content include delusions and morbid preoccupations. Depending on the nature of the abnormal thought content, diagnostic possibilities include a primary psychosis, depressive or bipolar disorder, mental disorder due to another medical condition, or substance/medication-induced mental disorder. Mood-congruent delusions, for example, are associated with a mood disorder, while mood-incongruent delusions are more typical of schizophrenia.
- Perception: Perception refers to the accuracy of a client’s five senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste) or her ability to correctly perceive external stimuli and her own internal processes. Examples of abnormal perceptions include illusions (misperceptions of actual stimuli) and hallucinations (perceptions in the absence of actual stimuli). Hallucinations can involve any of the five senses and may be associated with a primary psychosis, mental disorder due to another medical condition, or substance/medication-induced mental disorder. Auditory hallucinations are the most common type among people... (More)