A Study on the use of search engines for answering clinical questions

Andreea Tutos, Diego Mollá

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

Abstract

This paper describes an evaluation of the answerability of a set of clinical questions posed by physicians. The clinical questions belong to two categories of the five-leaf high-level hierarchical Evidence Taxonomy created by Ely and his colleagues: Intervention and Non Intervention. The questions are passed to two search engines (PubMed, Google), two question-answering systems (MedQA, Answers.com's Brain-Boost), and a dictionary (OneLook) for locating the answers to the question corpus. The output of the systems is judged by a human and scored according to the Mean Reciprocal Rank (MRR). The results show the need for question modification and analyse the impact of specific types of modifications. The results also show that No Intervention questions are easier to answer than Intervention questions. Further, generic search engines like Google obtain higher MRR than specialised systems and even higher than a version of Google based on specialised literature (PubMed) only. In addition, an analysis of the location of the answer in the returned documents is provided.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHIKM 2010
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Fourth Australasian Workshop on Health Informatics and Knowledge Management
EditorsAnthony Maeder, David Hansen
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherAustralian Computer Society
Pages61-68
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781920682897
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventAustralasian Workshop on Health Informatics and Knowledge Management (4th : 2010) - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 21 Jan 201021 Jan 2010

Publication series

NameConferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology (CRPIT)
PublisherAustralian Computer Society
Volume108
ISSN (Print)1445-1336

Workshop

WorkshopAustralasian Workshop on Health Informatics and Knowledge Management (4th : 2010)
CityBrisbane, Australia
Period21/01/1021/01/10

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