Medical College of Wisconsin
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Understanding patient needs and gaps in radiology reports through online discussion forum analysis. Insights Imaging 2021 Apr 19;12(1):50



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85104649555   1 Citation


Our objective is to investigate patient needs and understand information gaps in radiology reports using patient questions that were posted on online discussion forums. We leveraged online question and answer platforms to collect questions posted by patients to understand current gaps and patient needs. We retrieved six hundred fifty-nine (659) questions using the following sites: Yahoo Answers,, Quora, and Wiki Answers. The questions retrieved were analyzed and the major themes and topics were identified. The questions retrieved were classified into eight major themes. The themes were related to the following topics: radiology report, safety, price, preparation, procedure, meaning, medical staff, and patient portal. Among the 659 questions, 35.50% were concerned with the radiology report. The most common question topics in the radiology report focused on patient understanding of the radiology report (62 of 234 [26.49%]), image visualization (53 of 234 [22.64%]), and report representation (46 of 234 [19.65%]). We also found that most patients were concerned about understanding the MRI report (32%; nā€‰=ā€‰143) compared with the other imaging modalities (nā€‰=ā€‰434). Using online discussion forums, we discussed major unmet patient needs and information gaps in radiology reports. These issues could be improved to enhance radiology design in the future.

Author List

Alarifi M, Patrick T, Jabour A, Wu M, Luo J


Jake Luo Ph.D. Associate Professor; Director, Center for Biomedical Data and Language Processing (BioDLP) in the Health Informatics & Administration department at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee