NRNP 6635 The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales

NRNP 6635 The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales

NRNP 6635 The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales

The psychiatric interview comprises three crucial elements: the chief complaint, psychiatric history, and mental status examination (Gao et al., 2020). Including these elements is imperative for a thorough evaluation and determination of diagnosis, furnishing significant insights for developing treatment strategies.

First, the chief complaint allows the individual to articulate their principal apprehension or motive for pursuing psychiatric assessment. Gathering chief complaints concentrates the evaluation and directs subsequent inquiry, ensuring that the healthcare provider attends to the most urgent matters.

Secondly, obtaining a thorough psychiatric history is crucial in comprehending the patient’s background, prior mental health diagnoses, treatments, and psychosocial determinants (Gao et al., 2020). This aids in the identification of prior psychiatric episodes, familial history of mental illness, substance abuse, or traumatic events. Using psychiatric history is crucial in developing an accurate diagnosis, devising a suitable treatment plan, and identifying possible risk factors or contraindications.

Finally, the Mental Status Examination (MSE) assesses the individual’s present cognitive, emotional, and behavioral performance (Dietrich & Tamas, 2020). The assessment evaluates various aspects of the individual’s presentation, including their physical appearance, verbal communication, cognitive functioning, emotional state, perceptual experiences, and level of self-awareness. The Mental Status Examination (MSE) furnishes impartial information regarding the patient’s mental condition, thereby assisting in distinguishing between various diagnoses and tracking alterations in the patient’s condition over a period. This aids healthcare professionals in evaluating the magnitude of symptoms, ascertaining the degree of functional impairment, and pinpointing any particular areas of interest.

Regarding the psychometric characteristics of the designated rating scale, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a frequently employed self-report survey instrument utilized for evaluating the intensity of depressive symptoms. According to Georgi (2019), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) exhibits good internal consistency and test-retest reliability, indicating high levels of reliability and validity. The assessment tool comprises a total of 21 distinct indicators that correspond to particular manifestations of depression. These indicators are evaluated using a four-point Likert scale. The aggregate score indicates the gravity of depressive symptoms, encompassing a spectrum from mild to severe depression.

The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a suitable tool to employ in a psychiatric interview to evaluate indications of depression in clients. The utilization of screening tools can aid in the detection of depression, facilitate the monitoring of treatment efficacy, and enable the evaluation of responses to interventions. The utilization of a scale in psychiatric assessment is of great assistance to nursing practitioners, specifically in evaluating depressive symptoms. This is because it provides a standardized measure, which enables a quantifiable assessment of the severity and impact of depression on the patient’s daily functioning. This data can provide direction for treatment decisions, assist in formulating treatment objectives, and monitor alterations in symptomatology across time.

To sum up, the primary grievance, psychiatric background, and mental state assessment are integral elements of the psychiatric assessment. The provided information offers a comprehensive comprehension of the patient’s present issues, history, and psychological condition. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a dependable and accurate assessment tool that can be employed during clinical interviews to evaluate the intensity of depressive symptoms. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a valuable tool for nurse practitioners to assess depressive symptoms, track treatment efficacy, and support informed decision-making in treating individuals with depression.


Georgi, H. S., Vlckova, K. H., Lukavsky, J., Kopecek, M., & Bares, M. (2019). Beck Depression Inventory-II: Self-report or interview-based administrations show different results in older persons. International Psychogeriatrics31(5), 735-742. Beck Depression Inventory-II: Self-report or interview-based administrations show different results in older persons | International Psychogeriatrics | Cambridge CoreLinks to an external site.

Gao, L., Xie, Y., Jia, C., & Wang, W. (2020). Prevalence of depression among Chinese university students: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Scientific reports10(1), 1-11. to an external site. Dietrich, Z. C., & Tamas, R. L. (2020). Mental status Examination. Psychiatry Morning Report: Beyond the Pearls E-Book, 9. Psychiatry Morning Report: Beyond the Pearls – Tammy Duong, Rebecca L. Tamas, Peter Ureste – Google BooksLinks to an external site.

Thank you for sharing this post and for what you shared about the Beck Depression Inventory.  I had a different evaluation tool assigned to me so this was a very helpful post. 

Three Components of Psychiatric Interview

The psychiatric interview involves several important components, including establishing rapport, assessing symptoms, and exploring psychosocial history. These elements play a crucial role in accurate diagnosis, treatment planning, and building a therapeutic alliance with the client (Skre, I., Hessen,  & Landrø, N. I. 2021).

  • Building rapport is essential as it creates a trusting and empathetic environment, encouraging open communication and facilitating the sharing of experiences. Research by McCabe et al. (2019) emphasizes the positive impact of rapport-building on treatment engagement and outcomes.
    • Assessing symptoms systematically helps identify the presence, severity, and duration of psychiatric symptoms, leading to accurate diagnosis and effective treatment planning. Wang et al. (2018) highlight the importance of comprehensive symptom assessment, including both positive and negative symptoms, in schizophrenia diagnosis.
    • Exploring the client’s psychosocial history provides valuable insights into factors that influence mental health outcomes. Understanding past psychiatric history, social support networks, and adverse life events assists in tailoring interventions. Skre et al. (2021) emphasize the significance of assessing psychosocial factors to enhance treatment planning and outcomes.

BNSS and Psychiatric interview

The Brief Negative Symptom Scale (BNSS) is a validated rating scale specifically designed to assess negative symptoms in schizophrenia. It consists of 13 items measuring the severity of negative symptoms. Recent studies have examined the psychometric properties of the BNSS.

NRNP 6635 The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales
NRNP 6635 The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales

Savill et al. (2019) found that the BNSS demonstrates good psychometric properties, including high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.92) and interrater reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.87).

Using the BNSS during the psychiatric interview is appropriate when evaluating individuals suspected or diagnosed with schizophrenia or related disorders. The scale helps quantify the severity of negative symptoms, monitor changes over time, and guide treatment planning. Strauss et al. (2020) support the utility of the BNSS in assessing negative symptoms and monitoring treatment response in schizophrenia patients.

In conclusion, the psychiatric interview components of rapport-building, symptom assessment, and exploration of psychosocial history are essential for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. The Brief Negative Symptom Scale is a reliable tool for assessing negative symptoms in schizophrenia, providing valuable information for treatment evaluation and intervention planning.


McCabe, R., Kinnersley, P., & Freeman, M. (2019). The experience of healthcare professionals using information from patient-reported outcome measures to improve the quality of healthcare: A systematic review of qualitative research. BMJ Quality & Safety, 28(6), 436-448.

Savill, M., Banks, C., Khanom, H., Priebe, S., Wykes, T., & Corrigall, R. (2019). The Brief Negative Symptom Scale: Psychometric properties. Schizophrenia Research, 211, 258-264.

Strauss, G. P., Bowie, C. R., Kirkpatrick, B., & Buchanan, R. W. (2020). The Brief Negative Symptom Scale: Psychometric properties of a self-rated scale of negative symptoms. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 46(6

Wang, S., Zhang, Q., Zhao, Q., Xie, J., Wu, H., & Huang, M. (2018). Assessment of negative symptoms in schizophrenia: A psychometric analysis. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9, 161.

Skre, I., Hessen, E., Borgen, L., Bronken, B. A., Håland, Å. T., Kvig, E. I., & Landrø, N. I. (2021). Psychosocial assessment in mental health care: A scoping review. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 75(2), 95-106.

The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a widely used psychological assessment tool that offers several benefits in the field of mental health. Firstly, the BDI provides a structured and standardized way to assess the severity of depression symptoms. It consists of a series of questions that measure various emotional, cognitive, and physical symptoms associated with depression. By completing the inventory, individuals can gain a clearer understanding of their depressive symptoms and their intensity. This information is valuable for both clinicians and individuals seeking help, as it helps to establish an objective baseline and track changes over time.

Secondly, the BDI facilitates communication and collaboration between patients and mental health professionals. The inventory provides a common language to discuss depressive symptoms, allowing individuals to articulate their experiences more effectively. This shared understanding enhances the therapeutic alliance and empowers individuals to actively participate in their treatment process. Additionally, the BDI aids clinicians in making informed decisions regarding treatment planning and monitoring progress. By regularly assessing the severity of depression symptoms through the BDI, therapists can tailor interventions and evaluate the effectiveness of various therapeutic approaches, leading to more targeted and successful outcomes for individuals struggling with depression.


Hobbs, C., Beck, M., Denham, F., Pettitt, L., Faraway, J., Munafò, M. R., Sui, J., Kessler, D., & Button, K. S. (2023).

      Relationship between change in social evaluation learning and mood in early antidepressant treatment: A prospective cohort study in primary care. Journal of Psychopharmacology37(3), 303–312.

Thank you for your post. It is indeed very important for the provider to obtain a complete and thorough psychiatric interview which is to describe the patient’s complaints, appearance, experience(s), and to collect objective clinical data that will help guide treatment and clinical decisions. Savander et al. (2021)  “Clinician–patient communication is important in psychiatry because social interaction with the patient is the clinician’s primary means for understanding, evaluating and eventually diagnosing the patient’s mental suffering.” Initiating and building a good rapport is so important in psychiatry because in order for the patient to trust you as the provider, you have to be able to get through to the patient so that they will be receptive to different treatment plans and just to have open communication. “Rapport is defined as a ‘harmonious relationship’ and relates to collaboration and parity between patient and physician” Butt (2021). It is very important to have effective rapport with one’s patient because it has been shown to improve patient compliance with not only treatment and clinical outcomes but patient satisfaction as well.


Savander EÈ, Hintikka J, Wuolio M, Peräkylä A. The Patients’ Practises Disclosing Subjective Experiences in the Psychiatric Intake Interview. Front Psychiatry. 2021 May 10;12:605760. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.605760. PMID: 34040547; PMCID: PMC8141629.

Butt MF. Approaches to building rapport with patients. Clin Med (Lond). 2021 Nov;21(6):e662-e663. doi: 10.7861/clinmed.2021-0264. Epub 2021 Oct 12. PMID: 34642167; PMCID: PMC8806

The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a 21-question self-report questionnaire used to measure the symptoms of depression in an individual. This tool can be used by the individual or by the Clinician to assess to level of depression.

According to the literature this tool is one of the most widely used to assess depression. There have been tests and retests to verify reliability and validity. A second version of the BDI was developed in 1996 to align with the DSM-IV, BDI-II. Even though adequate test–retest reliability has been established with the BDI-II in older adult patients and nonpatient populations, there has been questions about the potential for overstating symptoms causing the result of the assessment to be skewed, this concern is related to the fact that the tool can be self-administered.

Wang and Gorenstein expressed their concern when they stated, “BDI-II presents the same problems as other self-applicable inventories, in which the score can be easily exaggerated, minimized or even falsified by the respondents” (2021)

In my opinion the patients ability to overstate symptoms is present in every interview and should not be the major concern in an assessment tool that would be overstated whether being self-administered or done by a Clinician.


 Wang, Y.P,  Gorenstein,C.(2021) The Beck depression inventory: Uses and applicationsLinks to an external site.The Neuroscience of DepressionLinks to an external site..

The use of evidence-based rating scales and psychiatric evaluations by nurse practitioners can be very beneficial. These methods, which are structured and methodical approaches to evaluate mental health issues, can be used to achieve an accurate diagnosis, treatment planning, and patient monitoring. The adoption of standardized evaluation tools and rating scales by nurse practitioners can improve the validity and reliability of their evaluations (Upton, 2020). 

Psychiatric assessments give nurse practitioners a thorough understanding of a patient’s mental health history, symptoms, and functioning as a first step. The framework makes sure that no detail is missed when performing an exhaustive assessment. Along with mental symptoms, the evaluation takes into account psychosocial aspects, medical history, and previous treatment experiences. Through this all-encompassing approach, nursing professionals can gain a thorough picture of the patient’s mental health status, facilitating the selection of the best diagnosis and course of action (Upton, 2020).

A second advantage is that evidence-based rating scales help nurse practitioners evaluate symptoms, measure long-term development, and keep track of how treatments are working. These scales allow for the standardization and quantification of the measurement of symptom severity and functioning. By comparing their results to normative data, nurse practitioners can utilize established rating scales to evaluate and track patients’ treatment outcomes objectively. Furthermore, by providing a consistent language for discussing symptom severity and treatment response, these scales enhance communication and collaboration with other healthcare experts.


Upton, J. (2020). Beck depression inventory (BDI). Encyclopedia of behavioral medicine, 202-203. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-39903-0_441