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Physical Assessment - Chapter 10 Psychosocial Assessment

Psychosocial assessments are often overlooked as a portion of the physical examination. However, a person’s psychological well-being has much to do with physical health. The following guide to psychosocial assessment can be remembered by the acronym “SELF PACING”. The findings from this assessment in addition to the physical findings will provide a comprehensive view of the patient’s status.

S – Self-Esteem: Include information pertaining to hygiene, grooming, eye contact, statements about oneself and any other characteristics that provide information about the patient’s self esteem.

E – Energy Level: Patient’s with psychological problems often have an alteration in level of activity.

L – Lifestyle: Living arrangements, significant relationships, occupation, hobbies or lack of interest in leisure activities, education, and any other data that provides information about the patient’s personal situation.

F – Family System: This refers to the patient’s contact and support from family members or significant others, family stressors, crisis events, and usual coping skills.

P – Physiological: This area relates to the results of the physical assessment.

A – Affect: Include information about the patient’s mood or emotional feelings. It may be described as happy, euphoric, flat, inappropriate, and other descriptive terms.

C – Culture: This refers to all cultural, racial, or anthropological variables that influence one’s lifestyle and mental health. This may refer to issues of homelessness. Assess religious and spiritual preferences, if any. Discuss any related food needs and other areas of impact spirituality will have on their health status.

I – Interests: As expressed by the patient.

N – Needs: As expressed by the patient (as opposed to those identified by the health care worker).

G – Goals: As expressed by the patient (as opposed to those identified by the health care worker).


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