Items in AFP with MESH term: Mental Disorders
ABSTRACT: The psychiatric review of symptoms is a useful screening tool for identifying patients who have psychiatric disorders. The approach begins with a mnemonic encompassing the major psychiatric disorders: depression, personality disorders, substance abuse disorders, anxiety disorders, somatization disorder, eating disorders, cognitive disorders and psychotic disorders. For each category, an initial screening question is used, with a positive response leading to more detailed diagnostic questions. Useful interviewing techniques include transitioning from one subject to another rather than abruptly changing subjects, normalization (phrasing a question to convey to the patient that such behavior is normal or understandable) and symptom assumption (phrasing a question to imply that it is assumed the patient has engaged in such behavior). The psychiatric review of symptoms is both rapid and thorough, and can be readily incorporated into the standard history and physical examination.
School Problems and the Family Physician - Article
ABSTRACT: Children with school problems pose a challenge for the family physician. A multidisciplinary team of professionals can most appropriately assess and manage complex learning problems, which are often the cause of poor school performance. The family physician's primary role in this process is to identify or exclude medical causes of learning difficulties. An understanding of the complicated nature of school problems, the methods used to assess, diagnose and treat them, and the resources available to support the child and family are essential to successful management. Various references and resources are helpful for a more in-depth study of specific school problems.
ABSTRACT: Suicidal ideation is more common than completed suicide. Most persons who commit suicide have a psychiatric disorder at the time of death. Because many patients with psychiatric disorders are seen by family physicians and other primary care practitioners rather than by psychiatrists, it is important that these practitioners recognize the signs and symptoms of the psychiatric disorders (particularly alcohol abuse and major depression) that are associated with suicide. Although most patients with suicidal ideation do not ultimately commit suicide, the extent of suicidal ideation must be determined, including the presence of a suicide plan and the patient's means to commit suicide.
ABSTRACT: Management of the most common type of dementia--Alzheimer's disease--is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Differentiation of Alzheimer's disease from vascular dementia has become therapeutically important, since the choice of treatments depends on the diagnosis. Two cholinesterase inhibitors, donepezil and tacrine, are labeled for use in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Other therapies, such as estrogen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and vitamin E, are sometimes used and show promise in delaying the progression of this dementia. Behavior problems, which often accompany the disease, can be managed using environmental modification, alterations in caregiving and medication. In the terminal phase of the illness, quality care involves implementing advance directives, communicating with the family, individualizing care and attending to patient comfort.
Nightmares and Disorders of Dreaming - Article
ABSTRACT: Dreams occur during all stages of sleep. Nightmares are common. They can be associated with poor sleep and diminished daytime performance. Frequent nightmares are not related to underlying psychopathology in most children and in some "creative" adults. However, recurrent nightmares are the most defining symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder and may be associated with other psychiatric illnesses. Night terrors are arousal disorders that occur most often in children and usually occur early in the sleep period. Patients with rapid-eye-movement behavior disorder often present with nocturnal injury resulting from the acting out of dreams. Dream disorders may respond to medication, but behavioral treatment approaches have shown excellent results, particularly in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and recurrent nightmares.
ABSTRACT: The mental status examination is an essential tool that aids physicians in making psychiatric diagnoses. Familiarity with the components of the examination can help physicians evaluate for and differentiate psychiatric disorders. The mental status examination includes historic report from the patient and observational data gathered by the physician throughout the patient encounter. Major challenges include incorporating key components of the mental status examination into a routine office visit and determining when a more detailed examination or referral is necessary. A mental status examination may be beneficial when the physician senses that something is "not quite right" with a patient. In such situations, specific questions and methods to assess the patient's appearance and general behavior, motor activity, speech, mood and affect, thought process, thought content, perceptual disturbances, sensorium and cognition, insight, and judgment serve to identify features of various psychiatric illnesses. The mental status examination can help distinguish between mood disorders, thought disorders, and cognitive impairment, and it can guide appropriate diagnostic testing and referral to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional.
Reaching Out to an Impaired Physician - Feature
Witnessing Domestic Violence: the Effect on Children - Medicine and Society
Family Physicians Are an Important Source of Mental Health Care - Graham Center Policy One-Pagers