Interview with informant

It is customary to use the word 'informant', although, of course, this does not imply that the communication with this person is secret. On the contrary, it would be unethical and antitherapeutic to speak with a third party without the patient's consent, unless it is an emergency. A separate interview with an informant, usually the nearest relative, is essential if the patient is too disturbed, confused, or uncooperative to give a full history. In other cases, it often adds useful information, too, especially on the premorbid personality and the extent to which the illness has disrupted the patient's life.

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