Clinical Interview

Conduct clinical interviews to establish rapport and efficiently gather client information before making a clinical impression or diagnosis.

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What are Clinical Interview Questions?

Before making a clinical impression or formulating a diagnosis and moving forward with a treatment plan, it is common practice that mental health professionals conduct interviews guided mainly by clinical interview questions

These questions may vary depending on the practitioner’s interview preference, whether that be structured, semi-structured, or unstructured. And depending on the purpose, goal, or interview nature, one may use a mix of different kinds, such as pre-determined, follow-up, closed, and open questions.

Though it takes much time and effort, developing and asking the right questions is crucial to ensuring a fruitful session for you, the practitioner, and the client. Well-thought-out questions can hit three birds with one stone. You can gather relevant information from verbal answers, jot down observed non-verbal cues to particular concerns, and build trust and rapport with your patient. 

As for deciding which question to ask first, you may take the approach you think your client will feel comfortable with. You may start your interview by asking for demographic information or a straightforward question such as “What brings you here today?”. Ultimately, however, the choice of queries is up to your discretion. With your expertise, you are more than capable of identifying which of them will encourage the client to share their thoughts and feelings openly.

Printable Clinical Interview

Download this Clinical Interview and obtain all the client information required for an effective treatment plan.

How does this Clinical Interview template work?

Step One. Access and Download the Template

Access the template from Carepatron’s template library or download the free clinical interview template. 

Step Two. Fill in Patient Information 

Write down essential information such as the date, patient’s name, date of birth, and the physician’s name. You may also ask for your patient’s signature to signify their interview consent. 

Step Three. Conduct Your Interview

Our clinical interview template consists of several parts, all of which you’re recommended to fill out, especially if it’s a new client, such as the reason for consultation, symptoms checklist, family history, educational history, developmental history, and more. Feel free to move them around to reflect an interview flow you’re more comfortable with. An interview should take between 30 minutes to 2 hours to conduct. 

Step Four: Review Your Notes

Though our template is straightforward,  you may have additional notes and observations you may want to polish since this document can be a reference for future sessions or a resource for a possible diagnosis and treatment plan. 

Step Five. Keep it Secure 

As this document contains important information about a client, you must treat it with utmost care and professionalism. Store physical copies at a location with security measures set in place or at Carepatron, an online EHR, HIPAA- compliant platform. Should anyone need to look your notes over, remember only to give viewing access to involved parties as the need arises. 

Clinical Interview Example 

Below is a sample of a filled-out Clinical Interview template. 

Feel free to use this example to give you an idea of how to fill out your own before saving it on Carepatron or downloading and printing a physical copy. 

Download this Clinical Interview Example (Sample) here:

Clinical Interview Example (Sample)

When to Use a Clinical Interview Template?

One can consider a clinical interview, also known as an intake interview, as a physician’s introduction to the client and vice versa. However, beyond that, it’s also an opportunity for the practitioner to gather relevant information helpful to the patient, fellow practitioners, and third parties involved in improving the patient's mental well-being. 

With the broad scope of the information that can be written down on a clinical interview template, it’s still important to note that this specific template is only best to use when:

  • You need to build a database of a new client or a client with an outdated medical record. 
  • You need guidance with asking general questions without preconceived notions and assumptions. This is recommended to build their database without bias or to prevent being influenced by others’ previous notes when formulating a case or treatment plan. 
  • You’re a mental health professional with the purpose of establishing rapport with your patient and making a mental health clinical impression or diagnosis. Clinical interview templates are geared toward the purpose of identifying symptoms, factors, and probable causes of mental disturbance or disorders.

Who is this Clinical Interview Template PDF for?

Those who may benefit the most from our clinical interview template, downloadable in DOC or PDF format, are psychologists and psychiatrists. However, the following mental health professionals who conduct clinical interviews may also utilize our template: 

  • Counselors
  • Therapists or psychotherapists
  • Psychiatric nurses and specialists
  • Mental Health Social Workers

These practitioners may opt to follow the template to the dot, edit them accordingly, or use them as a guide. What’s important here isn’t filling out the empty spaces of the template; rather, it’s to make the most out of the time given and make note-taking effortless and efficient. 

Aside from the professionals mentioned above, students who wish to go into the mental health field as well as researchers conducting clinical trials, may also use our clinical interview template. However, the information gathered may not be used for diagnostic purposes or making treatment decisions for the patient/s involved. 

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Benefits of Free Clinical Trial Interview Template

Customizable and Adaptable

Our template may come complete with questions and checkboxes perfect for semi-structured to structured interviews. However, if you prefer an unstructured interview nature, answer more questions, relocate certain topics, or remove specific categories, you can easily edit our template before using it digitally or online. 

Structured Interview

A clinical interview may be long, especially if you ask a client to elucidate information on a particular topic. The template’s purpose here is to direct you to the next point or question. 

Encourages Focus on Patient Care

By providing a pre-filled document to aid you in your pre-interview preparation, you can direct your full attention to your client’s answers and non-verbal cues. You can also edit and reuse your revised template for future interviews with other new patients.

Accessibility and Consistency

When future sessions come around or when a diagnosis is being formulated, it’s best to have your notes and observations on hand for comparison as well as a template with the same format for consistency. To add, if you’re a practitioner handling several clients at once, by having your digital notes accessible, you’re not only saving time searching for a client within a pile of files but also effort. 

Facilitates Collaboration

Should you need to collaborate with fellow physicians or refer your client to other practitioners for additional consultation or tests, they can easily refer to the notes you’ve made for reference.

Commonly asked questions

Why is a Clinical Interview helpful?

It’s helpful because it allows a mental health practitioner to build trust with a new patient and gather more information on them before making a well-informed clinical impression or diagnosis. Additionally, it gives the client a chance to know more about the physician they will be sharing their personal information to.

What is the purpose of a Clinical Interview?

A clinical interview’s primary purpose is to aid in a physician’s assessment and/or diagnosis of a patient.

Who typically completes a Clinical Interview?

Clients are encouraged to answer the clinical interview questions prepared and thought of by the physician for the duration of the session or until the physician deems the information sufficient to make a clinical impression or diagnosis.

Why Use Clinical Interview Software?

A leading practice management software in the healthcare industry, Carepatron comes complete with all the tools and means to reduce the physical and mental effort needed to accomplish administrative tasks. That way, all focus is placed on patient care. 

Not only are there various documents available in the Carepatron library, such as the clinical interview template, but each template is also flexible and editable to fit your preference and patient care strategy. Then, you have the option to either download and print your work or store them in our secure, HIPAA-compliant platform for effortless accessibility. 

Beyond the interview process, at Carepatron, you can also prepare for the post-interview tasks and responsibilities. With our tools, you can automate medical billing, schedule future appointments, remind patients of their schedule, and even conduct teleconsulting interviews for urgent cases or if the patient can’t make a physical appearance. 

Save time, cost, and effort by signing up at Carepatron!

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Why is a Clinical Interview helpful?
Why is a Clinical Interview helpful?
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