The Contribution of Analytic Information Processing to Diagnostic Performance in Medicine
Analytische verwerking van informatie en diagnostische prestatie in de geneeskunde
Is analytic processing of relevant biomedical concepts associated with diagnostic performance when solving acid-base and electrolyte problems? Our starting point was to question whether analytic processing of biomedical information had any association with diagnostic performance. In Chapter 2 we used think aloud to assess information processing in an observational study designed to be sensitive to this association: we chose a non-visual domain in which subjects were given lab data – electrolyte and acid-base problems – and considered analysis of even one relevant biomedical concept, chosen a priori, to represent analytic processing of relevant biomedical concepts. We studied nephrologists and first-year medical students – assuming the former had both clinical experience and biomedical knowledge, while the latter had biomedical knowledge but minimal clinical experience – to assess whether the association varied with clinical experience. We predicted that if analytic processing of relevant biomedical concepts is helpful when diagnosing electrolyte and acid-base problems then it should be used frequently and have a positive association with diagnostic performance. Alternatively, if analytic processing of relevant biomedical concepts is unhelpful then it should be used infrequently and have either no association or a negative association with diagnostic performance.