Mental state examination
The mental status examination, MSE, is an important step in a "clinical assessment" of an individual. The purpose of the MSE is to get an over-all description of the patient's mental state. This, with information about the person, lets the clinician make a diagnosis. Then a plan is chosen for the person's treatment.
The examination is a way of describing a patient's current state of mind. Some parts of the MSE are done by observing, asking questions and noting; some parts are done using psychological tests. It works by looking at attitude, behavior, mood and "affect" (feeling), speech, thinking, perception, cognition, insight and judgment.