August 10, 2008

10 parts of the Mental Status Exam (alt: ABC STAMP LICKER)

The Mental Status Exam is the psychiatric equivalent of a Physical Exam. I struggled to remember all of the components and I found it helpful to break it down into 10 parts for rehearsal. My resident told me about ABC STAMP LICKER after I developed my own method, but I'll share it with you as well.
  1. Appearance
  2. Behavior
  3. Cooperation (note eye contact, degree of friendliness/hostility)
  4. Mood/Affect
  5. Speech
  6. Thought (PCP: Process, Content, Perceptions)
  7. Cognition and Fund
  8. Abstraction (ask "What is meant by 'a rolling stone gathers no moss'?" or "what makes a table and a chair similar?")
  9. Insight
  10. Judgment

The alternate version (ABC STAMP LICKER):

  • Appearance
  • Behavior
  • Cooperation
  • Speech
  • Thought (Process, Content)
  • Affect
  • Mood
  • Perception (AH/VH)
  • Level of consciousness
  • Insight
  • Cognition
  • Knowledge fund/base
  • Endings (Suicidal, homicidal)
  • Reliability

Here is a sample student write-up from the UIC Dept of Psychiatry.

1 comment:

  1. Woo-hoo! I'm doing my clinical comp exam for my master's in counseling. I had to leave my site early and completely forgot one of my own acronym letters (I finished clinical hours a couple months ago -- DOH!) It's different than these - I had O for "orientation," as in "oriented x3": to person, place, and time. Your "level of consciousness" and "perception" reminded me. Thanks!