ICBO_2018_57: An Ontology For Formal Representation Of Medication Adherence-Related Knowledge: Case Study In Breast Cancer

TitleICBO_2018_57: An Ontology For Formal Representation Of Medication Adherence-Related Knowledge: Case Study In Breast Cancer
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSawesi, S, Jones, J, Duncan, W
Conference NameInternational Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO 2018)
Date Published08/06/2018
PublisherInternational Conference on Biological Ontology
Keywordsadherence, adjuvant endocrine therapy, adjuvant hormonal therapy, aromatase inhibitors, Ontology, tamoxifen

Medication non-adherence is a major healthcare problem that negatively impacts the health and productivity of individuals and society as a whole. Reasons for medication non-adherence are multi-faced, with no clear-cut solution. Adherence to medication remains a difficult area to study, due to inconsistencies in representing medication-adherence behavior data that poses a challenge to humans and today’s computer technology related to interpreting and synthesizing such complex information. Developing a consistent conceptual framework to medication adherence is needed to facilitate domain understanding, sharing, and communicating, as well as enabling researchers to formally compare the findings of studies in systematic reviews. The goal of this research is to create a common language that bridges human and computer technology by developing a controlled structured vocabulary of medication adherence behavior—“Medication Adherence Behavior Ontology” (MAB-Ontology) using breast cancer as a case study to inform and evaluate the proposed ontology and demonstrating its application to real-world situation. The intention is for MAB-Ontology to be developed against the background of a philosophical analysis of terms, such as belief, and desire to be human, computer-understandable, and interoperable with other systems that support scientific research. The design process for MAB-ontology carried out using the METHONTOLOGY method incorporated with the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) principles of best practice. This approach introduces a novel knowledge acquisition step that guides capturing medication-adherence-related data from different knowledge sources, including adherence assessment, adherence determinants, adherence theories, adherence taxonomies, and tacit knowledge source types. These sources were analyzed using a systematic approach that involved some questions applied to all source types to guide data extraction and inform domain conceptualization. A set of intermediate representations involving tables and graphs was used to allow for domain evaluation before implementation. The resulting ontology included 629 classes, 529 individuals, 51 object property, and 2 data property. The intermediate representation was formalized into OWL using Protégé. The MAB-ontology was evaluated through competency questions, use-case scenario, face validity and was found to satisfy the requirement specification. This study provides a unified method for developing a computerized-based adherence model that can be applied among various disease groups and different drug categories.