Let’s take a history!

To remember important elements of the past medical history, remember this phrase: “CHAMPS DO HAM”

C: Cancer
H: Hypertension
A: Angina
M: Myocardial infarction
S: Stroke

D: Diabetes
O: Obs/Gyn (includes GPA, menstrual history, sexual history….Obviously, for males, just ask for sexual history)

H: Hospitalizations (medical/surgical)
A: Allergies
M: Medications

To ensure that you don’t forget any constitutional symptoms, think of the patient as being: “Hot, tired, and not hungry.”

Hot: Fever/chills, sweats
Tired: Fatigue, change in sleep habits
Not hungry: Appetite, weight loss

There are several good mnemonics for taking a pain history, many are variations of “OPQRST”:

O: Onset
P: Provocation and palliation
Q: Quality (Is it sharp, dull, ripping, crushing, squeezing, burning, freezing? Is it throbbing, constant, intermittent?)
R: Region and radiation
S: Severity
T: Time (i.e. chronology: how long it has been going on, has it improved or worsened)

Personally, I find the “CLOSER” pain assessment tool more useful:

C: Characteristics (quality and severity)
L: Location and radiation
O: Onset and duration
S: Symptoms associated
E: Exacerbating factors
R: Relieving factors


That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading!

Click here to share a mnemonic for a future edition of The Weekly Mnemonic.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s