The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales Essay

The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales Essay

The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales Essay

The Psychiatric Evaluation and Evidence-Based Rating Scales Sample Essay

The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) is a numerical rating scale employed in psychiatric assessments to gauge a patient’s current level of impairment in psychosocial and occupational or educational functioning. This scale, ranging from 0 to 100, categorizes functioning into different levels. Normal function falls within the 70-to-100 range, while mild psychiatric symptoms are coded in the 70-to-80 range (Pedersen et al., 2020). Moderate symptoms fall between 60 and 70, and severe symptoms are coded as 50 and below. Higher levels of psychiatric support may be necessary as function decreases on the scale.

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The GAF is particularly useful during the psychiatric interview when there is a need to assess the client’s overall functioning. It is appropriate to use this rating scale to evaluate a client’s psychosocial and occupational functioning, providing a quantifiable measure of their current state (Pedersen et al., 2020).  The scale becomes helpful for a nurse practitioner’s psychiatric assessment by offering a standardized way to communicate the client’s level of impairment to other healthcare professionals. This numerical representation allows for clearer communication and a shared understanding of the client’s functioning among members of the healthcare team.

Moreover, the GAF aids in treatment planning by highlighting areas of impairment that may require targeted interventions. For instance, if the GAF score indicates severe impairment, the nurse practitioner may consider more intensive treatment options, such as inpatient hospitalization or intensive community-based treatment (Pedersen et al., 2020). On the other hand, if the score suggests mild impairment, outpatient interventions or less intensive support may be appropriate. The GAF thus serves as a practical tool for guiding treatment decisions based on the client’s level of functioning.

In conclusion, the psychiatric interview is a crucial component of psychotherapeutic assessment, involving the gathering of a comprehensive history, assessing current symptoms, and exploring the client’s psychosocial context. The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) rating scale contributes to this process by providing a numerical representation of a client’s current level of impairment. Its use during the psychiatric interview aids nurse practitioners in evaluating and communicating the client’s functioning, informing treatment decisions, and ensuring a comprehensive and individualized approach to mental health care.


Pedersen, G., Urnes, Ø., Hummelen, B., Wilberg, T., & Kvarstein, E. (2020). Revised manual for the global assessment of functioning scale. European Psychiatry, 51, 16-19.

Toffel, S., Rodriguez-Roman, L., & Holbert, R. C. (2023). The psychiatric diagnostic interview and the DSM5. Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology.

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Assessment tools have two primary purposes: 1) to measure illness and diagnose clients, and 2) to measure a client’s response to treatment. Often, you will find that multiple assessment tools are designed to measure the same condition or response. Not all tools, however, are appropriate for use in all clinical situations. You must consider the strengths and weaknesses of each tool to select the appropriate assessment tool for your client. For this Discussion, as you examine the assessment tool assigned to you by the Course Instructor, consider its use in psychotherapy.
Post a brief explanation of three important components of the psychiatric interview and why you consider these elements important. Explain the psychometric properties of the rating scale you were assigned.
*****Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF)**

Explain when it is appropriate to use this rating scale with clients during the psychiatric interview and how the scale is helpful to a nurse practitioner’s psychiatric assessment. Support your approach with evidence-based literature.


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