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

Updated: Sep 24, 2020
  • Author: Jeffrey S Forrest, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
  • Print


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.


A patient's affect is defined in the following terms: expansive (contagious), euthymic (normal), constricted (limited variation), blunted (minimal variation), and flat (no variation). A patient whose mood could be defined as expansive may be so cheerful and full of laughter that it is difficult to refrain from smiling while conducting the interview. A patient's affect is determined by the observations made by the interviewer during the course of the interview. The patient's affect is noted to be inappropriate no connection is clear between what the patient is saying and the emotion being expressed.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!