An Ontology to Support Knowledge Management in Behaviour-Based Healthcare
A Do Something Different (DSD) behaviour change programme consists of a series of digitally delivered behavioural prompts, or “Dos”, for targeted behaviour change designed to aid people to achieve personal goals or to break bad habits. “Dos” may address for example behaviour connected with exercise, smoking, diet, sleep or diabetes self-management, or personal development objectives such as leadership. DSD’s current database contains thousands of such “Dos”, developed by behaviour change experts.
We have developed an ontology to organise the large database of behavioural prompts in order to help DSD with its knowledge management. We began by developing an ontology of function, bottom-up; then we expanded this into a multi-perspective ontology covering WHO, WHAT, HOW, WHEN, WHERE and WHY perspectives.
The expected benefits from our ontology are: 1. response data from users can be aggregated by ontology category to get insights into users’ behaviour, 2. the ontology enables the implementation of smarter algorithms for selecting which “Dos” to suggest to which users, and 3. the ontology assists in the process of generating new “Dos”, either by domain experts or by crowd-sourcing.
Finally we follow an ontology-theoretic approach to argue that our ontology should be re-usable across other behaviour change applications, but maybe not across other application types.
KeywordsOntology Knowledge management Healthcare Health Behaviour change Case based reasoning
The authors were supported by Innovate UK via Knowledge Transfer Partnership 10152. Thanks are due to Professor Ben (C) Fletcher for comments on this paper.
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