What can physicians learn from social forums: Insights from an on-line self help and support group

Sy Miin Chow, Akhil Kumar, Ann Ouyang, Bu Zhong, Jungmin Lee, Nicholas Inverso

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

Abstract

In this study we try to understand how physicians can benefit from a social healthcare forum for a chronic digestive disease like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Based on over half a million posts over 16 years, we compared the frequencies of selected keywords and their concurrent and time-lagged concordance with publication trends in the scientific medical literature. We found reciprocal associations between publication and patient positing trends in most of the keywords considered, and some instances where online users' interest in particular keywords may be lagging or leading the publication trends in the medical literature. Results from this study suggest that online forums provide an alternative, personalized platform for patients to express and address person-specific concerns (e.g., interest in alternative treatments, life stress), which may in turn improve patient/physician relationship and management of this poorly understood condition. In addition, previously unrecognized associations of symptoms as described by a large number of patients may offer insights into pathophysiologic processes that may not be recognized during the management of individual patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE 7th International Conference on Computational Advances in Bio and Medical Sciences, ICCABS 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781538625941
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 16 2017
Event7th IEEE International Conference on Computational Advances in Bio and Medical Sciences, ICCABS 2017 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Oct 19 2017Oct 21 2017

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Computational Advances in Bio and Medical Sciences, ICCABS
Volume2017-October
ISSN (Print)2164-229X
ISSN (Electronic)2473-4659

Other

Other7th IEEE International Conference on Computational Advances in Bio and Medical Sciences, ICCABS 2017
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando
Period10/19/1710/21/17

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

Cite this

Chow, S. M., Kumar, A., Ouyang, A., Zhong, B., Lee, J., & Inverso, N. (2017). What can physicians learn from social forums: Insights from an on-line self help and support group. In 2017 IEEE 7th International Conference on Computational Advances in Bio and Medical Sciences, ICCABS 2017 [8114302] (IEEE International Conference on Computational Advances in Bio and Medical Sciences, ICCABS; Vol. 2017-October). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICCABS.2017.8114302