Psychiatric Evaluation

Also known as: psychiatric assessment, mental health assessment.

What is a psychiatric evaluation?

A psychiatric evaluation is an evaluation process with a mental health professional (a medical doctor with an MD - a psychiatrist; as opposed to a psychologist with a PhD), designed to diagnose and treat (using both medications and other therapies), emotional, behavioral or developmental conditions or disorders, presenting in a child or adolescent. A diagnosis may take a number of visits and evaluating sessions may involve parent/s and child singly and/or together.

What happens during the procedure?
During the psychiatric evaluation many topics may be covered and might include the child’s/adolescent’s general medical health history, history of the problem/behavior, developmental history, mental status, sexual history, family history, social and environmental history, history and information on the use (or not) of medications, smoking/alcohol/substance use. Others (for example family members, school personnel, personal pediatrician) may also be interviewed. In some cases, blood, or x-rays or other forms of assessments or diagnostic tests may be needed. Once a diagnosis is made, recommendations for a specific treatment plan will be outlined.

Is any special preparation needed? 
No special preparation is needed for an evaluation.

What are the risk factors?
In most cases, there are no risks factors related to receiving a psychiatric evaluation.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 7/30/2018 10:19:34 AM

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