The vegetative anamnesis deals with the purely physical background of the complaints. These include weight changes in both directions in recent months, sleep disturbances, appetite, allergies, as well as bowel movements and urination. For women, the vegetative anamnesis also includes questions about menstruation.
The medication anamnesis is an important part of the medical history in almost every situation. It provides information on the use of current medication and can thus have a decisive influence on the diagnosis and therapy. Under certain circumstances, the medication history can also be an indication of certain symptoms and the presence of disease if the patient cannot remember the disease but has the tablets with him or her.
The psychological anamnesis is an important component in the diagnosis of illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders and psychotic disorders. Particularly when diagnosing depression, the anamnesis is the only method to identify it with certainty. It is particularly important that there is a relationship of trust between the patient and the doctor so that the questions are answered honestly and the validity of the anamnesis is not weakened.
A social anamnesis provides the attending physician with an overview of the situation in which the person concerned finds himself. It is necessary because influences of the social environment, conflicts, relationships, and cultural backgrounds have an influence on the perception and processing of the disease. It is also important to provide information about the lifestyle that is led, which provides an insight into how to deal with illness and an assessment of the given risk factors.
In certain situations, an assessment of a patient’s social network is of enormous importance for later therapy. For example, hospitalisation may be necessary for a person living alone if a person living with relatives or with a partner can be cured at home. The social anamnesis includes a question about the currently or mainly practised profession in order to exclude exposure to certain relevant substances and to be able to assess the physical demands of the profession. The family anamnesis provides information on whether certain illnesses are more common among direct relatives and, if so, whether they could be the cause of the current complaints. Genetically inherited illnesses in which relatives are known to suffer from can also be an indication of existing illnesses.
Genus and drug anamnesis
Questions about the weekly consumption of nicotine, alcohol and other drugs are a sensitive topic for many patients. However, as it plays an enormously important role in the development of a number of diseases, questions about this are obvious. It is important that the patient answers these questions honestly so that a diagnosis can be made and the right therapy initiated. A strong relationship of trust between doctor and patient is particularly important in these questions.