Review Article

The History and Physical in Cancer Care: A Primer for the Oncology Advanced Practitioner

Margaret Quinn Rosenzweig, PhD, FNP-BC, AOCNP®, Diane Gardner, FNP, MSN, and Brenda Griffith

From University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Allen Interactive Media Consultants, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Authors' disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Margaret Quinn Rosenzweig, PhD, FNP-BC, AOCNP®, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, 3500 Victoria Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261. E-mail: mros@pitt.edu


J Adv Pract Oncol 2014;5:262–268 | DOI: 10.6004/jadpro.2014.5.4.3 | © 2014 Harborside Press®


  

ABSTRACT

Abstract

Advanced practitioners (APs) specializing in cancer care will most likely need to perform or participate in obtaining the history and physical (H & P) of a new patient. The core infrastructure of the history-taking and physical examination process remains the same across all patients regardless of diagnosis. There are, however, important distinctions in the H & P of the patient with cancer. These distinctions can be challenging for the student or novice oncology AP, leading to frustration and potentially poor patient satisfaction and outcomes. In each component of the patient history, certain considerations related to the cancer and its diagnosis and/or treatment to date must be included; these elements are different from those in the general medical H & P. This article focuses mainly on the structure and elements of the history of the present illness phase of the H & P. The similarities and differences between taking a cancer-focused H & P vs. a traditional medical one are discussed as well.




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