When text simplification is not enough: could a graph-based visualization facilitate consumers' comprehension of dietary supplement information?

07/05/2020 ∙ by Xing He, et al. ∙ 0

Dietary supplements (DSs) are popular but not always safe. Consumers usually seek DS information online; however, the complex medical jargon is a barrier for consumers' comprehension. In this study, we compared four different representations of DS information: (1) original text, (2) syntactic and lexical text simplification, (3) manual text simplification, and (4) a graph-based visualization. Using a crowdsourcing platform, we recruited participants to read DS information in different representations and then answer comprehension questions. With responses from 690 qualified participants, our experiments confirmed that the manual approach, as expected, had the best performance for both accuracy and response time to the comprehension questions, while the graph-based approach ranked the second outperforming other representations. In some cases, the graph-based representation outperformed the manual approach in terms of response time. A hybrid approach that combines text and graph-based representations might be needed to accommodate consumers' different information needs and information seeking behavior.

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