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(Masters thesis) Can Natural Language Processing Reveal Doctors’ Attitudes toward Specific Medical Conditions?, 2020, Brooke Scoles

Discussion in 'PsychoSocial ME/CFS Research' started by Dolphin, Jul 1, 2020 at 2:06 AM.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://www.mortengroup.org.uk/publications-presentations/h-b-scoles-thesis

    Can Natural Language Processing Reveal Doctors’ Attitudes toward Specific Medical Conditions?
    H. Brooke Scoles

    [​IMG]

    https://www.mortengroup.org.uk/app/download/12285222/Scoles-Masters-Thesis.pdf
    Adobe Acrobat document [1.9 MB]




     
  2. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    This is an interesting Masters thesis. It takes an approach that has been used to analyse natural language for gender and racial bias and applies it to analyse discrimination related to disease type. There's a remarkable example from an economics employment forum where words like 'hotter' and 'attractive' were most predictive of female pronouns in posts and 'motivated' and 'philosopher' were most predictive of male pronouns. This thesis takes data from the Medical Reddit.

    There are lots of great quotes and Brooke has done well to understand ME politics. They have done slightly less well in understanding medical issues related to ME, accepting findings from preliminary research as material facts, for example:

    Interesting bits and pieces:
    Section 2.2. has illustrations of posts. There's really nasty stuff there.

    There's a number of analyses - all coming to the conclusion that ME/CFS is a stigmatised disease. Here are the words that differentiated ME/CFS from other selected diseases:
    Screen Shot 2020-07-01 at 8.17.06 PM.png

    What is clear from that is that current issues (in this case the Afflicted TV program) impacted on what specific words were predictive. It was commented that diseases like MS had a lot less stigma words that were highly predictive and a lot more specifically medical words like drugs. There are probably a few factors at work there, not just less stigma. ME/CFS has few drugs that would be mentioned frequently in a discussion about it.

    So yeah. Interesting. I hope we hear more from Brooke about ME/CFS. It would be good to see more of this kind of analysis of language used by medical practitioners about different diseases.
     
  3. Adam pwme

    Adam pwme Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Very interesting. I wondered if this approach could be used to analyse online harrasment of researchers. But I expect there would be ethical issues.
     
  4. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020 at 11:08 AM
  5. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    According to this analysis, depression is far less stigmatized than ME/CFS. Funny. Who said that ME/CFS patients just want to avoid the stigma of mental illness?

    I'm not sure I agree with all interpretations. That treatments are being discussed far more in other diseases may just reflect the fact that there aren't any good guidelines on treatments due to lack of research showing us what treatments can help.

    I like the connection that the author makes here:

     
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  6. mariovitali

    mariovitali Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I am really happy to see that NLP applications are getting more attention. Remember, NLP does not mean always Neuro-Linguistic Programming ;-)


    The same techniques can be applied to patient notes on thoughts, symptoms, positivity and negativity of sentiment using speech-to-text recognition (i've been giving similar ideas to one ME organisation since 2018 but no luck) and then using NLP to extract concepts of symptoms, sentiment etc for a given day.


    Some techniques used are indeed -in my opinion- chosen correctly (e.g LASSO to select features) but it would be interesting to see bigrams (two consecutive words) , trigrams (3 consecutive words) as well in the input data. The author says :


    Although not related with analysing PUBMED abstracts , this is very interesting work indeed.
     
  7. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The psychosomatic researchers that publish research that supports these negative attitudes towards patients should ask themselves what role they are playing in all this and what harm they have caused to millions of people over the course of the last 30 years.

    In my opinion the language used by the Medicine group on reddit has somewhat improved in recent years. There are comments that express the possibility that this might just be a real disease.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020 at 12:00 PM
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  8. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  9. Mike Dean

    Mike Dean Established Member

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    Brooke has a seriously disabling condition, which makes this study even more remarkable
     
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  10. wigglethemouse

    wigglethemouse Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Jamison with a score of 3.62 seems to indicate that the Netflix Afflicted documentary may have had a big effect.
     
  11. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yeah I remember that thread. /r/medicine doesn't care about ME but doesn't miss an occasion to do a two minutes of hate on us if it's neatly packaged to be exactly that. Afflicted should eventually be considered hate speech, it was made for that.

    Irony is that they were conned by a scam deliberately framed to be misleading. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence in what medical training teaches about critical thinking and seeing through obvious BS.
     
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