Disciplines

Information and Library Science

Abstract

Title: The Development of a Controlled Vocabulary for Osteopathic Medicine

Authors/Affiliation: Craig S. Elam, MLS, AHIP, Associate Director for Technical Services, and Kathy D. Broyles, MLS, AHIP, Thesaurus Editor and Public Services Librarian, Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Purpose: The poster illustrates the interrelationships involved in creating a controlled vocabulary for Osteopathic Medicine.

Setting/Participants: The UNTHSC Library received a contract in 2002 from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and the American Osteopathic Association to develop a controlled vocabulary.

Brief Description: Osteopathic Medicine has a unique terminology; however, it is often idiosyncratic, inconsistent, imprecise, vague, unstructured, and undocumented. This leads to confusion and misunderstandings in the teaching and communication of key concepts in osteopathic medicine. The Osteopathic Thesaurus was designed to maintain control, currency, clarity, and consistency of this terminology in a structured thesaurus format.

Results/Outcome: Terms for the Osteopathic Thesaurus were derived from the Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology and from subject headings in OSTMED®, the index to the osteopathic literature. Osteopathic physicians identified and defined the terms and their interrelationships, which the Thesaurus Editor compiled and organized into a structured thesaurus. The Osteopathic Thesaurus currently contains 413 terms, 204 of which are unique main entry terms.

Conclusion: In January 2004, the first edition of the Osteopathic Thesaurus was submitted for inclusion in the National Library of Medicine’s UMLS Metathesaurus and the College of American Pathologists’ Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine-Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT). Both have been declared Federal standardized sources of medical terminology used in government sponsored systems for the electronic exchange of clinical health information. Osteopathic physicians, educators, and researchers will benefit by having their specialized terminology represented in a national standard.

Comments

This poster was presented at the 6th Osteopathic Collaborative Clinical Trials Initiatives Conference, Fort Worth, TX, April 7-8, 2005, held in conjunction with the 13th Annual UNTHSC-FW Research Appreciation Day. The poster was presented at the 3rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Bethesda, MD, June 23-24, 2005. The poster was presented at the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association Meeting, Little Rock, AR, October 25, 2005.