There have been many advances in the palliation and management of symptoms in advanced disease. However, according to the literature, the assessment and management of psychological and psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety and delirium, are still poor. These disorders, if left untreated, can have a detrimental effect on the patient’s quality of life. They interfere with the patient’s ability to function socially and emotionally and cause immense distress, adding to the overall symptom burden. It is therefore important that health professionals have the skills and knowledge to recognise signs and symptoms of psychiatric disorders, in order that they can plan appropriate care and support for patients and families. This article describes a structured approach to mental state examination, including the use of validated diagnostic screening tools. It discusses the benefits of this type of assessment process and how it can help facilitate a better informed management plan. Conflicts of interest: none
- Advanced practice
- Mental state examination
- Psychological distress
- Quality of life
- © 2015, Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.