Thursday, June 28, 2018

Proverbs in a Mental Status Examination - Cross-Examining Psych Doctors, Tip #118

     One of the five basic sources of information that compose a credible psychological or psychiatric examination and report is a Mental Status Examination.  A Mental Status Examination is normally part of every face-to-face clinical interview during a medical legal evaluation.  In this regard, a Mental Status Examination produces a set of observations of the patient that are made by the doctor under reasonably controlled conditions, employing a relatively standard set of examining techniques and questions.  One of those examining techniques is to ask the examinee to interpret a set of proverbs.  For example, insight can be measured by asking the patient to interpret proverbs such as “a stitch in time saves nine.”  Similarly, judgment can be measured by simply asking the person what they would do if they found a child locked in a car on a hot summer’s day.   When reading a psych report you may notice that the doctor commented on the patient’s insight and/or judgment but did not provide any easily and normally obtainable observational data concerning those processes.  Accordingly, during a deposition an attorney should ask the doctor where in their report they cited their Mental Status Examination test results supporting their conclusions about the patient’s judgment and insight.

No comments:

Post a Comment