Psychiatric Evaluation in Adults

Guideline Watch |
September 17, 2015

Psychiatric Evaluation in Adults

  1. Jonathan Silver, MD

New evidence-based guidelines adopt the standards suggested by the Institute of Medicine and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  1. Jonathan Silver, MD

Sponsoring Organization: American Psychiatric Association

Target Audience: Psychiatrists

Target Population: Adults presenting for psychiatric treatment

Background and Objective

These guidelines were developed through a systematic review of the literature and standardized ratings of that evidence and used the approach suggested by the Institute of Medicine and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In addition, input of experts was solicited. Findings are listed as either a “recommendation” (the benefit clearly outweighs the harm) or a “suggestion” (benefit/harm balance is difficult to judge). A rating of the strength of the evidence (A, B, or C) is given with each finding.

Key Points

There are nine guidelines overall, covering how to review psychiatric symptoms, trauma history, and treatment; assess substance use, suicide risk, risk for aggressive behaviors, cultural factors, and medical health; perform quantitative assessments; involve the patient in treatment decision making; and document the evaluation.

Comment

Because these are guidelines for assessment, and not treatment, most of the findings involve a recommendation with not very strong evidentiary support. However, the publication does provide an excellent review of important aspects of the general psychiatric evaluation (and not in specific circumstances, such as a neuropsychiatric cognitive examination). A particularly helpful aspect is that the guidelines provide links to specific assessment tools that can be downloaded for free (such as evaluations of somatic symptoms and mood) and be incorporated in psychiatric practice. The entire guideline is available free online at http://psychiatryonline.org/doi/book/10.1176/appi.books.9780890426760.

Joel Yager, MD, is an author of these guidelines and Associate Editor of NEJM Journal Watch Psychiatry but had no role in selecting or summarizing this article.

Editor Disclosures at Time of Publication

  • Disclosures for Jonathan Silver, MD at time of publication Speaker's bureau American Physician Institute Editorial boards UpToDate Leadership positions in professional societies North American Brain Injury Association (Board Member)

Citation(s):

Reader Comments (1)

Rajshekhar Bipeta. MBBS, DPM, DNB (Psychiatry) Physician, Psychiatry, Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Hyderabad, India

I am impressed by the content of this book. Most of the topics have been extensively covered. Evidence based step-by-step approach. I congratulate the authors.

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