Mining Medical Discussion Boards for Adverse Effects to Drugs

Monday, May 7, 2012 - 10:30am - 11:30am
Keller 3-180
Shawndra Hill (University of Pennsylvania)
Medical message boards are online resources where users with a particular condition exchange information, some of which they might not otherwise share with medical providers. Many of these boards contain a large number of posts and patient opinions and experiences that would be potentially useful to clinicians and researchers. We present an approach that is able to collect a corpus of medical message board posts, de-identify the corpus, and extract information on potential adverse drug effects discussed by users. Using a corpus of posts to breast cancer message boards, we identified drug event pairs using co-occurrence statistics. We then compared the identified drug event pairs with adverse effects listed on the package labels of tamoxifen, anastrozole, exemestane, and letrozole. Of the pairs identified by our system, 75–80% were documented on the drug labels. Some of the undocumented pairs may represent previously unidentified adverse drug effects.
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