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In the study of mental illness are different techniques and theoretical achievements related clinical disciplines and fundamental Sciences. However, leading method in psychiatry is a clinical method of conversation with the patient and his observation, the analysis of the information received from relatives, colleagues, etc.
Important for the characteristic features of the disease and possible effects have a follow-up study. Catamnesis - information about the status of patients after various time after discharge from the hospital, the last surveys or any treatment. Follow-up information drawn from a variety of sources, including data belong special surveys conducted by doctors or nursing staff, extracts from medical records of the patients ' condition, if they are under dynamic observation, oral or written answers patients on the proposed issues (questionnaires).
When evaluating patient's condition and prognosis of the disease it is necessary to consider the General regularities inherent in the clinical picture of this mental illness. These patterns are manifested in a specific sequence, the development of mental disorders and that the nature of the violations reflects the depth disorders activity of the Central nervous system of the patient.
Apply other methods of examination: psychological, assessment physical conditions, neurological, electroencephalography, biochemical, serological, and so on Psychological research in experimental conditions using different tests and methods allow you to specify important diagnostic features and degree of disturbance of cognitive activity of the patient, his memory, learning and other mental functions.
The cause of many diseases has not yet been clarified, and the clinical picture of the individual mentally ill can be a lot in common, and therefore the presence or absence of certain neurological symptoms or somatic disorders often helps the diagnosis of the disease.
Using electroencephalography is possible to detect very subtle signs of organic disease of Central nervous system. Other laboratory studies of the mentally ill (biochemical, serological, x-ray, and so on) are conducted for diagnostic purposes exceptions somatic pathology and to clarify the possibilities of the use of any kind of therapy.
And last years in psychiatry widespread epidemiological studies. These studies are aimed at solving a wide range of topical issues.
In the early period of the term "epidemic" was used more widely and not belonged completely to the diseases caused by infections. The term "epidemic" was first used in the writings of Hippocrates, and meant that the disease that suddenly appeared in a certain place, and was struck by many people In one of the works of Hippocrates, the word "epidemic" is mentioned, when it comes to infective disease is Roger, and in other cases - in connection with epidemic diseases, common in certain areas "under the influence of local conditions".
Figurative medical definition of war gave N. I. Pirogov, calling it "a traumatic epidemic". This term is applied to mental illness was used when the prevalence of those or other mental disorders was reached among the population unusual level. In the second half of the last century was written about a " psychic epidemics", "mental epidemic" [Ragnar P., 18891.
The use of terms such as "epidemic" and "endemic", for the characteristics of the different intensity of the prevalence of mental health problems is reflected in the medical-psychological English dictionary end of the last century.
The term "epidemiology" again gets a broad sense. Official recognition of the epidemiology of malignant tumors, cardiovascular, mental illness and other the Importance and the need to obtain data on the prevalence of mental illness among the population for the creation of effective mental health was emphasized by all the psychiatrists in the early stages of formation and development of psychiatry [Jacobi P. I., 1891; S. Korsakov, 1901, and others].
Data from epidemiological studies are applied in assessing the effectiveness of various mental health services and measures for social and labor rehabilitation of the mentally ill, in the determination of the completeness and terms of case detection, timely diagnosis of patients, the availability of different types of mental health care for specific groups of the population.