OPQRST is used for the history taking section of patient assessments.

O Onset

  • What was the patient doing when the signs and symptoms first occurred? Was the onset sudden or gradual?
P Provocation / Palliation

  • Is there anything that makes the symptom better or worse?
Q Quality

  • Description of what the patient is feeling. For example, the pain can be described as dull, sharp, crushing, aching, tearing, throbbing, etc.
R Region / Radiation

  • Where is the pain located and does it move to another part of the body?
S Severity

  • How severe is the symptom based on a scale of 1 to 10?
T Time

  • When did the signs and symptoms first occur?


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