Skip to Main Content

We have a new app!

Take the Access library with you wherever you go—easy access to books, videos, images, podcasts, personalized features, and more.

Download the Access App here: iOS and Android. Learn more here!

historical control group

(his-tor-ĭ-kăl) SEE: under group.


(his′tŏ-rē) [L. historia, fr Gr. historia, istoriē, inquiry, investigation, learning by inquiry or investigation] ABBR: Hx. In the health care professions, a systematic record of past events as they relate to a person and his or her medical background. A carefully taken medical, surgical, and occupational history will enable diagnosis in about 80% of patients. SYN: medical h.

 TECHNIQUE: The patient should be given the opportunity to describe his or her symptoms in his or her own words, fully, completely, and without interruption. The examiner encourages the patient to speak by maintaining a sympathetic and nonjudgmental attitude. After the patient finishes his or her explanations, the examiner usually asks carefully chosen questions to elicit details about an illness and to gain deeper insights. SEE: nursing assessment.

case h. The complete medical, family, social, and psychiatric history of a patient up to the time of admission for the present illness.

dental h. A record of all aspects of a person’s oral health, previous evaluations and treatments, and general state of physical and mental health. SEE: oral diagnosis.

family h. ABBR: FHx. A record of the state of health and medical history of members of the patient’s immediate family, which may be of interest to the physician or other health care provider because of genetic or familial tendencies noted. SYN: family health history.

family health h. Family h.

medical h. History.

natural h. (of disease) The expected or predictable course of an untreated illness. The knowledge of the expected course of a disease is usually based on prior study of the effects of the illness on a large group of patients over time. SEE: disease progression.

nursing h. The first step of the assessment stage of the nursing process that leads to development of a nursing care plan. Valuable information can be obtained from this history, and reactions to previous hospitalization can be recorded and used in managing the patient’s care during the current stay.

occupational h. A semistructured interview process used by occupational therapists to determine a person’s roles, approach to tasks, and sense of identity.

sexual h. A medical history of a person’s sexual practices, concerns, illnesses, partners, preventive activities, and risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases.


(his″tō-tek-nol′ŏ-jē) [histo- + technology] The preparation and processing of a biopsy specimen for microscopic analysis, usually by cutting, fixing, staining, and mounting the specimen on a suitable medium for inspection.


(hĭs″tō-tŏk′sĭk) [″ + toxikon, poison] Toxic to tissue.



Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.