In their own words? A terminological analysis of e-mail to a cancer information service.

Catherine Arnott Smith, P. Zoë Stavri, Wendy Webber Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: To better understand the terms used by consumers to describe their health information needs and determine if this "consumer terminology"differs from those used by health care professionals. METHODS: Features and findings identified in 139 e-mail messages to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute's Cancer Information and Referral Service were coded and matched against the 2001 Unified Medical Language System Metathesaurus. RESULTS:504 unique terms were identified. 185 (36%) were exact matches to concepts in the 2001 UMLS Metathesaurus (MTH). 179 (35%) were partial string matches; 119 (24%) were known synonyms for MTH concepts; and 2 (

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-701
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings / AMIA ... Annual Symposium. AMIA Symposium
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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