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objective vs subjective data

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by MaryyKate MaryyKate (New) New

Question: In mental health nursing, what is considered objective data? Example: I am using the A.D.P.I.E. nursing process to define depression. I guess my subjective data would be fatigue, quiet, withdrawn, somatic symptoms, etc. What would my objective data be? I put weight gain/loss, anorexia, insomnia. Are anorexia and insomnia measurable? This is tricky for mental health! I have to do this for 20 mental health topics (clinical makeup assignment for a snow day). Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

Welcome...we moved your thread to our Nursing Student Assistance forum.

You are on the right track...objective data is also conveyed with measurable data. How do night shift nurses report insomnia? Or anorexia?

They document how many hours slept and percentage of food eaten?

Exactly. These measurements are observable data that can be corroborated (I.e. Supported) by other staff members. Other examples would include things like number of scratch/burn marks on arm (indicating self harm), or observable incidents of patient talking out loud to no one (reacting to internal stimuli). Subjective data is essentially what the patient is experiencing without observable data that can be agreed upon by all staff. Hope that is helpful! Mental Health is a challenging specialty, but also very rewarding.