Objective outcomes are assessments of potential benefits or harms of treatments which are not subject to a large degree of individual interpretation, and that are likely to be reliably measured across participants in a study, by different people and over time.
Although outcomes are sometimes categorized as objective or subjective, there is a continuum of how objective outcomes are, and most outcomes require some degree of interpretation.
The less objective an outcome is, the greater the risk of measurement bias, and the greater the need for blinding of outcome assessors to reduce the risk of measurement bias.
For example, assessing whether someone is dead or not is highly objective, whereas assigning a cause of death often requires judgement and so is more difficult to measure objectively.
If you feel that this definition hasn't helped you to understand the term, click on our monkey to let us know.