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Consumer Health Information Needs and Question Classification: Analysis of Hypertension Related Questions Asked by Consumers on a Chinese Health Website.

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Institute of Medical Information & Library, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.


This study built up a classification schema of consumer health questions which consisted of 48 quaternary categories and 35 annotation rules. Using such a schema, we manually classified 2,000 questions randomly selected from nearly 100 thousand hypertension-related messages posted by consumers on a Chinese health website to analyze the information needs of health consumers. The results showed questions in the categories of treatment, diagnosis, healthy lifestyle, management, epidemiology, and health provider choosing were 48.1%, 23.8%, 11.9%, 5.2%, 9.0%, and 1.9% respectively. The comparison of the questions asked by consumers and physicians showed that their health information needs were significantly different (P<0.0001).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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