Generating personalized advice for schizophrenia patients

Ando Emerencia*, Lian van der Krieke, Sjoerd Sytema, Nicolai Petkov, Marco Aiello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The results of routine patient assessments in psychiatric healthcare in the Northern Netherlands are primarily used to support clinicians. We developed Wegweis, a web-based advice platform, to make this data accessible and understandable for patients. Objective: We show that a fully automated explanation and interpretation of assessment results for schizophrenia patients, which prioritizes the information in the same way that a clinician would, is possible and is considered helpful and relevant by patients. The goal is not to replace the clinician but rather to function as a second perspective and to enable patient empowerment through knowledge. Methods: We have developed and implemented an ontology-based approach for selecting and ranking information for schizophrenia patients based on their routine assessment results. Our approach ranks information by severity of associated schizophrenia-related problems and uses an ontology to decouple problems from advice, which adds robustness to the system, because advice can be inferred for problems that have no exact match. Results: We created a problem ontology, validated by a group of experts, to combine and interpret the results of multiple schizophrenia-specific questionnaires. We designed and implemented a novel ontology-based algorithm for ranking and selecting advice, based on questionnaire answers. We designed, implemented, and illustrated Wegweis, a proof of concept for our algorithm, and, to the best of our knowledge, the first fully automated interpretation of assessment results for patients suffering from schizophrenia. We evaluated the system vis-à-vis the opinions of clinicians and patients in two experiments. For the task of identifying important problems based on MANSA questionnaires (the MANSA is a satisfaction questionnaire commonly used in schizophrenia assessments), our system corresponds to the opinion of clinicians 94% of the time for the first three problems and 72% of the time, overall. Patients find two out of the first three advice topics selected by the system to be relevant and roughly half of the advice topics overall. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that an approach that uses problem severities to identify important problems for a patient corresponds closely to the way a clinician thinks. Furthermore, after applying a severity threshold, the majority of advice units selected by the system are considered relevant by the patients. Our findings pave the way for the development of systems that facilitate patient-centered care for chronic illnesses by automating the sharing of assessment results between patient and clinician.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalArtificial Intelligence in Medicine
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Deductive reasoning
  • Knowledge-based web information system
  • Ontology
  • Routine patient assessments
  • Schizophrenia

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