Patient Information

Patient Information

Reasons to Gather Patient Information

Before counseling or providing medications to a patient, gathering extensive and detailed information is critical for several reasons. Gathering information enables mental health providers to provide correct diagnoses (Soroya et al., 2021). The patient and the doctor must work together to interpret the patient’s symptoms and concerns to make a diagnosis. The doctor does a physical examination after the patient provides their history. Many experts have stated that history by itself may usually determine the diagnosis. All of this is done as part of the process of information gathering so that patients and clinicians may make an accurate diagnosis.

Another reason for gathering information is for preventive actions. In the field of mental health, accurate information can be helpful. Mental health professionals can develop prevention plans with the aid of timely and accurate data. For instance, they may quickly deliver effective medicine while keeping an eye on patients’ health problems. The patient’s health or life may be saved by the quick response. The third reason for gathering patient information is for mental health professionals to make informed decisions. According to Fisher (2021), it is possible to evaluate outcomes effectively, identify particular patterns and fully understand the whole issue with a variety of different data collected in one location. Mental health professionals can make decisions grounded on facts when they have access to such in-depth research and analytical tools. They rapidly and effectively strategize in response to the circumstances at hand.


Malingering is the act of feigning illness to obtain a reward (Merckelbach et al., 2019). Either mental or physical disease can be pretended to. Exaggerating sickness symptoms for the same reason is sometimes referred to as malingering. Malingering is a behavior, not a state. The term “malingering” was initially used in the 1900s to characterize troops who attempted to avoid active duty. The definition has been broadened to encompass people who pose as ill for ulterior motives. Malingering can result in the medical system being abused, causing wasting of time for other patients and needless tests to be run.

One of the most effective ways of differentiating malingering from DSM 5 diagnosis is through psychological testing. It takes around 45 minutes to conduct the Systematic Interview of Reported Symptoms, a controlled experimental consultation. It has been used to look into the feigning of various ailments, like PTSD, and it may be utilized to distinguish malingering from DSM 5 disorders such as somatic and mood disorders (Martin et al., 2020). Psychological testing may not be enough to catch all cases of malingering, so psychologists should combine all accessible data, with examination findings being one part of the available information set.

Another way to differentiate malingering from DSM 5 diagnosis is through collateral information. Mental health professionals often look for further data confirming or disputing the evaluator’s self-evaluation reports (Merckelbach et al., 2019). Such information could be found in patient stored data, data collected by an insurance company, depositions, interviews with collateral informers, such as nurses, other mental health professionals, or families, and records from previous treatments. Having access to this information gives clinicians a significant advantage when determining whether a patient is malingering or has a DSM-5 disorder. Clinicians keep track of the documents they have reviewed, and the records that the evaluator or other organizations have refused to make available.





Fisher, M., Newton, C., & Sainsbury, E. (2021). Mental health social work observed (Fifth Edition). London: Routledge.

Martin, P. K., Schroeder, R. W., Olsen, D. H., Maloy, H., Boettcher, A., Ernst, N., & Okut, H. (2020). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the Test of Memory Malingering in adults: Two decades of deception detection. The Clinical Neuropsychologist34(1), 88-119.

Merckelbach, H., Dandachi-FitzGerald, B., van Helvoort, D., Jelicic, M., & Otgaar, H. (2019). When patients overreport symptoms: More than just malingering. Current Directions in Psychological Science28(3), 321-326.

Soroya, S. H., Farooq, A., Mahmood, K., Isoaho, J., & Zara, S. E. (2021). From information seeking to information avoidance: Understanding the health information behavior during a global health crisis. Information processing & management58(2), 102440.

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