The Cultural Formulation
In an effort to address the cultural dimensions of clinical assess-ment, DSM-IV-TR introduced an outline for a cultural formulation (Table 2.1). This outline covers major areas that a clinician should explore in a comprehensive evaluation. These are integrated in a formulation that helps to account for symptomatology, diagnosis, prognosis and appropriate treatment. The formulation may go well beyond the DSM-IV-TR categories to consider many sorts of problems and predicaments relevant to the patientâ€™s well-being.
The cultural formulation is merely intended as a check-list or reminder to encourage the clinician to perform the needed exploration and integration of a broad range of relevant social and cultural information. Clearly, cultural considerations may apply to every aspect of the clinical assessment and interview and must not be used only as an afterthought to the standard psychiatric interview.