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PP-101 Paediatric history-taking and physical examination – a revised, holistic approach
  1. Mizna Shahid,
  2. Farhana Sharif
  1. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin 2


Aim This booklet aims to provide a holistic overview of history-taking and physical examination. Various studies highlight the importance of effective history-taking and physical examination, which can lead to a diagnosis around 75% of the time. However, a holistic approach to the process is vital, where not only is a physician attempting to reach a diagnosis, but a patient should also feel supported. Throughout the process, screening for social, emotional and developmental issues is crucial for overall well-being as these conditions are becoming increasingly prevalent in paediatrics.

Material and Method Resources discussing the various aspects of paediatric history-taking and physical examinations were gathered, as well as links for questionnaires and screening toolkits.

Results Strategies for developing a therapeutic bond with patients are discussed - amongst these are empathy, encouraging reflection and clear communication. Differences in history-taking and physical examinations between adults and paediatrics are highlighted, such as the need to include younger patients’ parents/guardians, as well as the importance of gathering information on infant/child overall development, including social and emotional health. Links to resources and screening tools to gain an overall holistic picture of the infant/child’s well-being are included to supplement the history-taking and physical examination processes. One such resource included is a Happiness Toolkit, developed by one of the booklet authors, which aims to encourage self-care skills to improve mental health in children. An illustrated storybook and a wellness diary accompany the Happiness Toolkit. A detailed developmental evaluation handout, with accompanying animations, is also included to enhance the history-taking process. Explanations of the underlying neuroscience behind the resources are included.

Conclusions This digital booklet highlights various aspects of history-taking and physical examination. Links are provided to available resources and screening tools to mitigate against the rising tide of social, emotional and behavioural issues in paediatrics to achieve a holistic approach to history-taking and physical examination.

  • Paediatric
  • History-taking
  • Physical Examination
  • Holistic

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