Mental Health Assessment and Screening
The purpose of this discussion is to explore different strategies and tools available to assess for mental health disorders and disorders of cognitive function.
Please note the following:
1. Scholarly sources include current peer-reviewed sources, practice guidelines from professional organizations, and databases used for clinical decisions making (such as UpToDate). Your course materials, textbooks, and websites do not count as scholarly sources.
Choose a mental health or cognitive function disorder (The condition I selected is Major Depressive Disorder – MDD). Describe how a patient with this disorder may present to the clinical setting. What might show up in their subjective assessment? Would there be any findings that may be present during the objective assessment?
Your initial post should use at least four scholarly sources to support your description of how the relationship and/or assessment may be affected.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Patients with MDD may present to the clinical setting with a range of symptoms, including persistent sadness, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, feelings of worthlessness, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating or making decisions (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
During the subjective assessment, patients with MDD may report a history of depressive symptoms that have persisted for at least two weeks and have caused significant distress or impairment in their daily functioning (Fava et al., 2018). They may also describe a family history of depression or other mental health disorders, a recent stressful event, or a history of trauma or abuse.
Objective assessments may reveal physical symptoms such as changes in weight or appetite, decreased energy or fatigue, and psychomotor agitation or retardation (Fava et al., 2018). Patients with MDD may also have difficulty with concentration, attention, and memory, which can be assessed using cognitive testing tools such as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) (Folstein et al., 1975).
In terms of assessment strategies and tools, there are several options available to clinicians for evaluating MDD. One commonly used tool is the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), which is a self-administered screening tool that assesses the severity of depressive symptoms (Kroenke et al., 2001). The PHQ-9 has been shown to be a reliable and valid tool for identifying patients with MDD and monitoring treatment response (Kroenke et al., 2001).
Another useful tool is the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), which is a self-report questionnaire that assesses the presence and severity of depressive symptoms (Beck et al., 1961). The BDI has been shown to be a reliable and valid tool for assessing depression in a variety of settings, including primary care and psychiatric clinics (Beck et al., 1961).
Cognitive testing tools, such as the MMSE, can also be used to assess for cognitive impairment in patients with MDD. The MMSE assesses a range of cognitive functions, including orientation, attention, memory, language, and visual-spatial skills (Folstein et al., 1975).
In conclusion, patients with MDD may present with a range of symptoms that can be assessed using subjective and objective assessments. Assessment tools such as the PHQ-9, BDI, and MMSE can be useful in evaluating the severity of symptoms and monitoring treatment response. It is important for clinicians to consider the patient’s overall clinical presentation and history when making a diagnosis of MDD and to use evidence-based assessment tools to guide treatment decisions.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Author.
Beck, A. T., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J., & Erbaugh, J. (1961). An inventory for measuring depression. Archives of general psychiatry, 4(6), 561-571.
Fava, M., Rush, A. J., Trivedi, M. H., Nierenberg, A. A., Thase, M. E., Sackeim, H. A., … & Balasubramani, G. K. (2018). Background and rationale for the sequenced treatment alternatives to relieve depression (STAR*D) study. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 5(9), 32-54.
Folstein, M. F., Folstein, S. E., & McHugh, P. R. (1975).