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by Dr Gill
Last updated: October 2014
conduct a physical examination of a psychiatric patient has
potentially serious implications.
Death rates among psychiatric patients are much higher than in
the general population, with higher rates of physical disorder
across the entire range of mental disorders.
Yet, British studies have reported the recording of physical
examination carried out by psychiatric trainees to be ‘uniformly
poor’ or ‘variable’: there appears to be a need for a far
more conscientious provision of physical healthcare within
How can this be achieved and what barriers are there to
This module, The physical examination
in psychiatric practice: Part 1 begins with an
overview of the current practice of physical examination in
psychiatry, giving advice on what to consider, practical
requirements and how to make assessments in sometimes
Section 4 of this module begins the enquiry into a patient's
physical health by looking at the nervous system. In The physical examination in
psychiatric practice: Part 2, the remaining systems
and related types of examination will be covered.
Start the module
If you like this module, you may also be
Physical examination in psychiatric practice: Part
2 by Dr Gill Garden
Physical healthcare in severe mental illness by
Dr Steve Brown
Essentials of Physical Health in Psychiatry (book from RCPsych
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