Case study: You are admitting a 27-year-old woman to your unit for work-up of weight loss. While conducting an admission interview, you learn that she has recently lost her job and has a strong family history of depression and suicide.
How would you construct your interview?
What measures would you take with the information you have gathered? Why?
SOLUTION TO THE CASE STUDY
How Would You Construct Your Interview?
Mental health conditions and disorders are inherited. Individuals who have first-degree relatives with mental health disorders are genetically predisposed to be diagnosed with mental illnesses. The interview should be structured so that the mental health assessment is done and the patient’s psychiatric state is obtained. Assess the appearance, movements, behaviors, and attitudes of the patient. This will help determine the etiology and classification of the mental disorder being experienced by the patient (Summerfeldt, 2020). Interview in a safe and private room because confidentiality encourages the patient to open up about the problems they are facing without fear.
Medical terminologies and jargon should be avoided for the patient to understand you effectively. Therapeutic communication skills, including active listening, role-playing, maintaining eye contact, should be enhanced throughout the interview. Establish the patient’s perception of the world, especially after losing their job. Keenly pay attention to the patient’s non-verbal cues and agitation level (Boland & Verduin, 2021). Be empathetic to the patient’s circumstances but avoid being sympathetic. Establish her past mental history and coping mechanisms to the difficulties she is facing. Determine the history of the presenting problem and exacerbating factors. An adequate health history is significant in making an accurate diagnosis and developing a plan of care for the patient.
What Measures Would You Take With The Information You Have Gathered? Why?
The patient would be recommended for a psychiatric evaluation and psychotherapy. She is also placed on suicidal watch because her safety is compromised. She is at risk of self-harm and suicide due to being helpless. The patients should be prescribed antidepressants (Boland & Verduin, 2021). Psychotherapy helps the patient cope with the problems of losing her job. The patient will be assisted in developing positive coping mechanisms and promoting optimal health. Healthcare providers should schedule a regular screening of depression to prevent and treat the symptoms of depression before they progress any further.
Boland, R., & Verduin, M. (2021). Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Summerfeldt, L. J., Ovanessian, M. M., & Antony, M. M. (2020). Structured and semistructured diagnostic interviews.
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