Background: The sheer number of measures evaluating mobility and inconsistencies in terminology make it challenging to extract potential core domains and items. Automating a portion of the data synthesis would allow us to cover a much larger volume of studies and databases in a smaller fraction of the time compared to the usual process. Thus, the objective of this study was to identify a comprehensive outcome set and develop preliminary banks of items of mobility among individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) using Natural Language Processing (NLP).
Methods: An umbrella review of 47 reviews evaluating the content of mobility measures among individuals with ABI was conducted. A search was performed on 5 databases between 2000 and 2020. Two independent reviewers retrieved copies of the measures and extracted mobility domains and items. A pre-trained BERT model (state-of-the-art model for NLP) provided vector representations for each sentence. Using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health Framework (ICF) ontology as a guide for clustering, a k-means algorithm was used to retrieve clusters of similar sentences from their embeddings. The resulting embedding clusters were evaluated using the Silhouette score and fine-tuned according to expert input.
Results: The study identified 246 mobility measures, including 474 domains and 2109 items. Encoding the clusters using the ICF ontology and expert knowledge helped in regrouping the items in a way that is more closely related to mobility terminology. Our best results identified banks of items that were used to create a 24 comprehensive outcome sets of mobility, including Upper Extremity Mobility, Emotional Function, Balance, Motor Control, Self-care, Social Life and Relationships, Cognition, Walking, Postural Transition, Recreation, and Leisure Activities, Activities of Daily Living, Physical Functioning, Communication, Work/Study, Climbing, Sensory Functions, General Health, Fatigue, Functional Independence, Pain, Alcohol and Drugs Use, Transportation, Sleeping, and Finances.
Conclusion: The banks of items of mobility domains represent a first step toward establishing a comprehensive outcome set and a common language of mobility to develop the ontology. It enables researchers and healthcare professionals to begin exposing the content of mobility measures as a way to assess mobility comprehensively.
Rehab Alhasani, Mathieu Godbout, Audrey Durand, Claudine Auger, Anouk Lamontagne, Sara Ahmed
- Systematic review of outcomes measured in trials
- Systematic review
A comprehensive search of the literature was performed using electronic databases
of Ovid MEDLINE, CINHAL, Cochrane Library and EMBASE from 2000 to March 2020.