Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Mining patient-physician communication sequence data to understand the casual factors in shared decision making"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2013 - DURI
Research area(s):
Statistics, Healthcare Engineering
Project Description:
Informing and involving patients in decisions about their medical care is considered the greatest untapped resource in healthcare. Shared decision making is an approach where physicians and patients communicate together using the best available evidence when faced with the task of making decisions. In this research, we apply sequence data mining tools to understand the casual factors that impact the course of patient-physician shared decision making during consultant sessions. Our first task is clustering these sequences to identify differences among the patients and the physicians. We would also like to associate the patient prognosis and care outcome information with the shared decision making sequence. Our big-picture research question is how to carefully present information and effectively use decision aids in the shared decision making process so that care outcomes can be improved.
Expected Student Contributions:
The internship will use statistical software packages to conduct descriptive statistical analysis. The intern may also need to code in Matlab or C to perform cluster/classification type data mining tasks.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
GPA > 3.6 Special skills: some knowledge on using R/SAS to analyze real-world large data sets; strong ability in C/Matlab coding
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 2 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Kong, Nan
biomedical engineering

Student Supervisor

Nan Kong
Assistant Professor

Cooperating Faculty

Cleveland Shields
Health and Human Sciences