Breast cancer and quality of life: medical information extraction from health forums

Thomas Opitz, Jérome Aze, Sandra Bringay, Cyrille Joutard, Christian Lavergne, Caroline Mollevi
2014 Studies in Health Technology and Informatics  
Internet health forums are a rich textual resource with content generated through free exchanges among patients and, in certain cases, health professionals. We tackle the problem of retrieving clinically relevant information from such forums, with relevant topics being defined from clinical auto-questionnaires. Texts in forums are largely unstructured and noisy, calling for adapted preprocessing and query methods. We minimize the number of false negatives in queries by using a synonym tool to
more » ... hieve query expansion of initial topic keywords. To avoid false positives, we propose a new measure based on a statistical comparison of frequent co-occurrences in a large reference corpus (Web) to keep only relevant expansions. Our work is motivated by a study of breast cancer patients' health-related quality of life (QoL). We consider topics defined from a breast-cancer specific QoL-questionnaire. We quantify and structure occurrences in posts of a specialized French forum and outline important future developments.
pmid:25160353 fatcat:3rl3qletznh2dpy2hfardulmvu