Patient and clinician vocabulary: How different are they?

Qing Zeng, Sandra Kogan, Nachman Ash, Robert A. Greenes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

35 Scopus citations


Consumers and patients are confronted with a plethora of health care information, especially through the proliferation of web content resources. Democratization of the web is an important milestone for patients and consumers since it helps to empower them, make them better advocates on their own behalf and foster better, more-informed decisions about their health. Yet lack of familiarity with medical vocabulary is a major problem for patients in accessing the available information. As a first step to providing better vocabulary support for patients, this study collected and analyzed patient and clinician terms to confirm and quantitatively assess their differences. We also analyzed the information retrieval (IR) performance resulting from these terms. The results showed that patient terminology does differ from clinician terminology in many respects including misspelling rate, mapping rate and semantic type distribution, and patient terms lead to poorer results in information retrieval.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMEDINFO 2001 - Proceedings of the 10th World Congress on Medical Informatics
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)1586031945, 9781586031947
StatePublished - 2001
Event10th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2001 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Sep 2 2005Sep 5 2005

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Other10th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2001
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Consumer health
  • Information retrieval
  • Medical vocabulary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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