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1Zhang, Y.: Searching for specific health-related information in MedlinePlus : behavioral patterns and user experience.
In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 65(2014) no.1, S.53-68.
Abstract: Searches for specific factual health information constitute a significant part of consumer health information requests, but little is known about how users search for such information. This study attempts to fill this gap by observing users' behavior while using MedlinePlus to search for specific health information. Nineteen students participated in the study, and each performed 12 specific tasks. During the search process, they submitted short queries or complete questions, and they examined less than 1 result per search. Participants rarely reformulated queries; when they did, they tended to make a query more specific or more general, or iterate in different ways. Participants also browsed, primarily relying on the alphabetical list and the anatomical classification, to navigate to specific health topics. Participants overall had a positive experience with MedlinePlus, and the experience was significantly correlated with task difficulty and participants' spatial abilities. The results suggest that, to better support specific item search in the health domain, systems could provide a more "natural" interface to encourage users to ask questions; effective conceptual hierarchies could be implemented to help users reformulate queries; and the search results page should be reconceptualized as a place for accessing answers rather than documents. Moreover, multiple schemas should be provided to help users navigate to a health topic. The results also suggest that users' experience with information systems in general and health-related systems in particular should be evaluated in relation to contextual factors, such as task features and individual differences.
Inhalt: Vgl.: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asi.22960/abstract.