The amount of time necessary to conduct a comprehensive evaluation generally depends on the complexity of the problem and the patient's ability and willingness to work cooperatively with the practitioner. The aims of a general psychiatric evaluation are:
- establish whether a mental disorder or other condition requiring the attention of a practitioner is present;
- collect data sufficient to support differential diagnosis and a comprehensive clinical formulation;
- collaborate with the patient and others to develop an initial treatment plan that will foster treatment adherence, with particular consideration of any immediate interventions needed to address the safety of the patient and others.