Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)


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Fab (Fragment Antigen Binding): that segment of the IgG antibody molecule, derived by papain treatment and reduction, containing only one antibody reaction site. Under oxidizing conditions, Fab fragments recombine to form the divalent molecule F (ab') 2 devoid of the Fc segment of the original molecule.

Fair Financing: one of the three intrinsic goals of a health system whereby every member of society should pay the same share of their disposable income to cover their health costs.

Fairness: the attitude of being just to all.

Fairness of Financial Contribution: index used to measure the distribution of the households' health financing contribution.

Fc: fragment of antibody without antigen-binding sites, generated by cleavage by papain; the Fc fragments recombine the C-terminal domains of the immunoglobulin heavy chains.

Fecal Impaction: large amount of hardened stool in the rectum that an individual is unable to pass. A fecal impaction may present as small amounts of watery and incontinent stool.

Fecal Incontinence: accidental and involuntary loss of liquid or solid stool or gas from the anus.

Feces: waste material from the intestines. Feces are composed of bacteria, undigested food, and material sloughed from the intestines.

Fee-For-Service: payments to a provider for each act or service rendered.

Fee Schedule: a list of approved fees for each service promulgated by an insurance company, government agency, or professional society.

Female Reproductive Tract: includes vulva, vagina, uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes.

Fertility Rate: indicator used in population studies to assess the average number of children women have in a given population.

Fertilization: the process which renders gametes capable of further development; it begins with the sperm contacts the plasma membrane of the oocyte and ends with the formation of the zygote.

Filial Generation (F1, F2): each generation of offspring in a breeding program, designated F1, F2, etc.

Financing: function of a health system concerned with the mobilization, accumulation and allocation of money to cover the health needs of the people, individually and collectively, in the health system. Raising revenue to pay for a good or service.

Financial Resource Allocation: any process by which financial resources flow from a third-party payer (e.g., government, insurer, etc.) through the health care organization to the individual clinical provider.

Fingerprinting: in genetics, the identification of multiple specific alleles on a person's DNA to produce a unique identifier for that person. See also -- forensics.

Finished DNA Sequence: high-quality, low error, gap-free DNA sequence of the human genome. Achieving this ultimate 2003 HGP goal requires additional sequencing to close gaps, reduce ambiguities, and allow for only a single error every 10,000 bases, the agreed-upon standard for HGP finished sequence. See also -- sequencing, draft sequence.

Fistula: abnormal passage or connection between a hollow body cavity or organ and the surface of the body.

Fixed Budget: a budget that is not adjusted for changes in the volume of service.

Flatulence: release of gas through the anus.

Flexible Budget: a budget that is adjusted for changes in the volume of service.

Flow Cytometry: analysis of biological material by detection of the light-absorbing or fluorescing properties of cells or sub-cellular fractions (i.e., chromosomes) passing in a narrow stream through a laser beam. An absorbance or fluorescence profile of the sample is produced. Automated sorting devices, used to fractionate samples, sort successive droplets of the analyzed stream into different fractions depending on the fluorescence emitted by each droplet.

Flow Karyotyping: use of flow cytometry to analyze and separate chromosomes according to their DNA content.

α-Fetoprotein: synthesized in the fetus by perivascular hepatic parenchymal cells. It is found in a high percentage of patients with hepatomas and endodermal sinus tumor of the ovary or testes. It is a serum protein present in concentrations up to 400 mg/dl in early fetal life, falling to <3 mg/dl in adults. Increased levels may be detected in the serum of adults with hepatoma (80% positive) and endodermal sinus tumor (60-80% positive) and may be used to observe progression of the disease.

Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH): a procedure for detecting specific nucleic acid sequences in morphologically preserved chromosomes, cells, and tissue sections using fluorescent labeled oligonucleotide probes. A physical mapping approach that uses fluorescein tags to detect hybridization of probes with metaphase chromosomes and with the less-condensed somatic interphase chromatin.

Focus Group Discussion: sometimes called a group interview, focus group discussions are small (usually 5-15 people) interactive interviews led by an impartial facilitator, usually with a focused agenda.

Fora: plural of forum; meetings, conferences, etc.

Forensics: the use of DNA for identification. Some examples of DNA use are to establish paternity in child support cases; establish the presence of a suspect at a crime scene, and identify accident victims.

Forensic Examination: examination to look for evidence that can later be used in legal proceedings; should be done by specially trained professional.

Formulary: a list of approved drugs for reimbursement, with all non-approved drugs paid at a lesser rate or not at all.

Forssman Antigen: an interspecies-specific antigen present in erythrocytes of many species, including some micro-organisms, that is capable of inducing the formation of lysin for sheep erythrocytes in animals devoid of such antigen.

Fracture-pan: specially-designed bedpan for individuals who are unfit to lift their hips to position themselves on the bedpan. A handle allows the caregiver to remove the pan gently, without turning or lifting the user.

Frame-shift: a mutation caused by deletions or insertions that are not a multiple of three base pairs. Results in a change in the reading frame in which triplet codons are translated into protein.

Fraternal Twin: siblings born at the same time as the result of fertilization of two ova by two sperm. They share the same genetic relationship to each other as any other siblings. See also -- identical twin.

Frequency Distribution: a statistical term that denotes number of occurrences for a particular variable.

Freund Adjuvant: Complete: Freund emulsion of mineral oil, plant waxes, and killed tubercle bacilli used to combine with antigen to stimulate antibody production. Incomplete: Freund mixture without tubercle bacilli.

Full Gene Sequence: the complete order of bases in a gene. This order determines which protein a gene will produce.

Function: the special kind of activity proper to something, the mode of action by which it fulfills its purpose. Also in general application, esp. as contrasted with structure.

Functional Genomics: the study of genes, their resulting proteins, and the role played by the proteins the body's biochemical processes.

Funding: providing health care organizations with the financial resources required to carry out a general range of health-related activities.

Fundholding: a system of payment for medical care which has the following characteristics: financial resources for health care are allocated on a per capita basis; financial resources are held in a fund; and the general practitioner is usually the decision-maker for allocating the funds.

Women's Health & Education Center
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