n South African Medical Journal - Adapting the psychiatric assessment for primary care : CME article

Volume 104, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



A particular challenge in primary healthcare is that the time available for consultations is extremely limited owing to high workloads. This can be particularly difficult in the detection and management of mental health problems. Traditionally, the mental health assessment has been taught as a very comprehensive psychiatric history and examination, which can take as long as an hour. While the value of thorough assessment cannot be denied, such an imperative becomes self-defeating if it discourages any assessment at all, or results in one that misses the most critical information.

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