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Psychological Assessment in Adult Mental Health Settings

Part Two. Assessment Settings

  1. R. Michael Bagby PhD1,
  2. Nicole Wild BSc2,
  3. Andrea Turner BSc2

Published Online: 15 APR 2003

DOI: 10.1002/0471264385.wei1010

Handbook of Psychology

Handbook of Psychology

How to Cite

Bagby, R. M., Wild, N. and Turner, A. 2003. Psychological Assessment in Adult Mental Health Settings. Handbook of Psychology. Two:10:211–234.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  2. 2

    University of Windsor, Department of Psychology, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2003


The goal of this chapter is to provide a general outline for the psychological assessment of adult psychiatric inpatients and outpatients. We regard psychological assessment as a problem-solving process in which psychological tests, structured diagnostic interviewing, and unstructured clinical interviewing are employed to answer specific referral requests. The fundamental premises of the approach recommended in this chapter is that psychological assessments must be evidenced based and multimodal. Consistent with this approach, psychological assessment should evaluate a client's psychiatric symptoms in relation to the diagnostic criteria according to the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders and use objective tests supplemented with structured interviews that have proven reliability and validity. Examples of such tests and interview techniques that meet these standards are discussed as are various practical issues, including selecting the appropriate tests, addressing referral questions, and the requisite skills required to conduct psychological assessments.


  • assessment;
  • evidenced based;
  • multimodal;
  • objective tests;
  • structured interviewing