The User Knows What to Call It: Incorporating Patient Voice Through User-Contributed Tags on a Participatory Platform About Health Management.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Body listening, described as the act of paying attention to the body's signals and cues, can be an important component of long-term health management.


The aim of this study was to introduce and evaluate the Body Listening Project, an innovative effort to engage the public in the creation of a public resource-to leverage collective wisdom in the health domain. This project involved a website where people could contribute their experiences of and dialogue with others concerning body listening and self-management. This article presents an analysis of the tags contributed, with a focus on the value of these tags for knowledge organization and incorporation into consumer-friendly health information retrieval systems.


First, we performed content analysis of the tags contributed, identifying a set of categories and refining the relational structure of the categories to develop a preliminary classification scheme, the Body Listening and Self-Management Taxonomy. Second, we compared the concepts in the Body Listening and Self-Management Taxonomy with concepts that were automatically identified from an extant health knowledge resource, the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS), to better characterize the information that participants contributed. Third, we employed visualization techniques to explore the concept space of the tags. A correlation matrix, based on the extent to which categories tended to be assigned to the same tags, was used to study the interrelatedness of the taxonomy categories. Then a network visualization was used to investigate structural relationships among the categories in the taxonomy.


First, we proposed a taxonomy called the Body Listening and Self-Management Taxonomy, with four meta-level categories: (1) health management strategies, (2) concepts and states, (3) influencers, and (4) health-related information behavior. This taxonomy could inform future efforts to organize knowledge and content of this subject matter. Second, we compared the categories from this taxonomy with the UMLS concepts that were identified. Though the UMLS offers benefits such as speed and breadth of coverage, the Body Listening and Self-Management Taxonomy is more consumer-centric. Third, the correlation matrix and network visualization demonstrated that there are natural areas of ambiguity and semantic relatedness in the meanings of the concepts in the Body Listening and Self-Management Taxonomy. Use of these visualizations can be helpful in practice settings, to help library and information science practitioners understand and resolve potential challenges in classification; in research, to characterize the structure of the conceptual space of health management; and in the development of consumer-centric health information retrieval systems.


A participatory platform can be employed to collect data concerning patient experiences of health management, which can in turn be used to develop new health knowledge resources or augment existing ones, as well as be incorporated into consumer-centric health information systems.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chen, AT; Carriere, RM; Kaplan, SJ

Published Date

  • September 7, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 9

Start / End Page

  • e292 -

PubMed ID

  • 28882809

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5608985

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1438-8871

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1439-4456

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2196/jmir.7673


  • eng