What data are recorded regarding patient mood during a Mental Status Examination (MSE)?

Updated: Sep 24, 2020
  • Author: Jeffrey S Forrest, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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The mood of the patient is defined as "sustained emotion that the patient is experiencing." Ask questions such as "How do you feel most days?" to trigger a response. Helpful answers include those that specifically describe the patient's mood, such as "depressed," "anxious," "good," and "tired." Elicited responses that are less helpful in determining a patient's mood adequately include "OK," "rough," and "don't know." These responses require further questioning for clarification.

Establishing accurate information pertaining to the length of a particular mood, if the mood has been reactive or not, and if the mood has been stable or unstable also is helpful.

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