4. The Psychiatric Interview

Settings and Techniques

  1. Allan Tasman Professor and Chair1,
  2. Jerald Kay Professor and Chair2 and
  3. Robert J. Ursano Professor and Chair3

Published Online: 20 MAY 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118341001.ch4

The Psychiatric Interview: Evaluation and Diagnosis

The Psychiatric Interview: Evaluation and Diagnosis

How to Cite

Tasman, A., Kay, J. and Ursano, R. J. (2013) The Psychiatric Interview, in The Psychiatric Interview: Evaluation and Diagnosis, John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118341001.ch4

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KN, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Psychiatry, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Dayton, OH, USA

  3. 3

    Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 MAY 2013
  2. Published Print: 22 JUL 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119976233

Online ISBN: 9781118341001



  • psychiatric database;
  • psychiatric interview


This chapter deals with psychiatric interview as a means of assessing the patient and developing an initial treatment plan in clinical situations. Psychiatric interviews are analogous to the history and physical examination in a general medical assessment; they systematically survey subjective and objective aspects of illness, and generate a differential diagnosis and plan for further evaluation and treatment. The style and content of a psychiatric interview are necessarily shaped by the interviewer's theory of psychopathology. The written psychiatric database is an orderly exposition of information gathered in the interview, presented in a relatively fixed format. The database components discussed in the chapter are identifying data, chief complaint, history of the present illness, past psychiatric history, past medical history, family history, and personal history. The chapter also talks about general features of psychiatric interviews.