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August 24th, 2017


Affect is the immediate expression of emotion and serves as an objective measure of a patient's mood. Evaluating affect is a crucial component of the mental status examination, as it can provide insights into the patient's emotional well-being and potential psychiatric conditions.
  • To assess affect, engage the patient in a wide-ranging conversation, touching on various topics such as personal losses, relationships, achievements, and experiences. Observe their emotional responses throughout the conversation and consider the following aspects of affect:
  • Intensity: the strength and conviction of the patient's displayed emotions.
  • Range: the variety, or highs and lows, of emotions displayed by the patient.
  • Stability: how consistently the patient's emotions change with the flow of the conversation.
  • Appropriateness: whether the patient's emotional expression matches the content of their speech.
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