Problems and challenges in patient information retrieval: a descriptive study.

S. Kogan, Q. Zeng, N. Ash, R. A. Greenes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Many patients now turn to the Web for health care information. However, a lack of domain knowledge and unfamiliarity with medical vocabulary and concepts restrict their ability to successfully obtain information they seek. The purpose of this descriptive study was to identify and classify the problems a patient encounters while performing information retrieval tasks on the Web, and the challenges it poses to informatics research. In this study, we observed patients performing various retrieval tasks, and measured the effectiveness of, satisfaction with, and usefulness of the results. Our study showed that patient information retrieval often failed to produce successful results due to a variety of problems. We propose a classification of patient IR problems based on our observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-333
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings / AMIA ... Annual Symposium. AMIA Symposium
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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