Identifying Text Discourse Structure of the Narratives Describing Psychiatric Patients’ Defense Mechanisms

  • Eunmi Ham
  • Woojin Paik
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4139)


Psychiatric nursing care plans include the narratives describing the defense mechanisms exhibited by the patients. These narratives form the basis for generating psychodynamic analysis, which is one of the key diagnosis outcomes about the patients. However, it is fairly difficult for the novice nurses to correctly identify the type of defense mechanism based on the observations that they made while caring for the patients. One of the main reasons for the high error rate is the lack of uniform terminology. That is, inconsistencies in the definitions and conceptualizations of defenses. Furthermore, there is lack of sufficient examples showing the wide variety of cases from which the novice nurses to learn. We developed a prototype text discourse analysis system, which assigns one or more text discourse categories to each clause in the defense mechanism narratives. The initial evaluation of the prototype system resulted in correctly identifying 85% of the defense mechanisms in the test data set. The output from the text discourse analysis system is fed into a database to augment the definition of the defense mechanisms and also to be used as a learning tool for the novice nurses.


Defense Mechanism Text Type Evidence Source Defense Mechanism Assessment Text Schema 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Doenges, M., Moorehead, M.F.: Application of Nursing Process and Nursing Diagnosis: An Interactive Text for Diagnostic Reasoning, 4th edn. F.A. Davis Co., Philadelphia (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Defense Mechanisms, (April 3, 2006),
  3. 3.
    Bond, M., Vaillant, G.E., Vaillant, C.O.: An empirically validated hierarchy of defense mechanisms, Archives of General Psychiatry (1986)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Vaillant, G.E.: Ego Mechanisms of Defense: A Guide for Clinicians and Researchers. American Psychiatric Pub., Inc. (1992)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jones, L.B.: Pragmatic aspects of English text structure. Summer Institute of Linguistics, Arlington (1983)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rumelhart, D.: Understanding and summarizing brief stories. In: LaBerge, D., Samuels, S.J. (eds.) Basic processes in reading: Perception and comprehension, pp. 265–303. Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Hillsdale (1977)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rumelhart, D.: Schemata: the building blocks of cognition. In: Spiro, R., Bruce, B., Brewer, W. (eds.) Theoretical issues in reading comprehension: Perspectives from cognitive psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence and education, pp. 33–38. Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Hillsdale (1980)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    van Dijk, T.A.: News analysis: Case studies of international and national news in the press. Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Hillsdale (1988)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cohen, R.: Analyzing the structure of argumentative discourse. Computational Linguistics 13, 11–24 (1987)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Alvarado, S.J.: Understanding editorial text: A computer model of argument comprehension. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston (1990)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Liddy, E.D.: The discourse-level structure of empirical abstracts: An exploratory study. In: Information Processing and Management 27.1, pp. 55–81. Pergamon Press, Tarry Town (1991)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Liddy, E.D., McVearry, K.A., Paik, W., Yu, E., McKenna, M.: Development, Implementation and Testing of a Discourse Model for Newspaper Texts. In: Proceedings of Human Language Technology Workshop, pp. 159–164. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Plainsboro (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Paik, W., Lee, J.Y.: Extracting Legal Propositions from Appellate Decisions with Text Discourse Analysis Methods. In: Meersman, R., Tari, Z., Corsaro, A. (eds.) OTM-WS 2004. LNCS, vol. 3292, pp. 621–633. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Branting, K., Lester, J.C., Callaway, C.B.: Automating Judicial Document Drafting: A Discourse-Based Approach. Artificial Intelligence Law 6(2-4), 111–149 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Pearl, J.: Probabilistic reasoning in intelligent systems: networks of plausible inference. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco (1988)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eunmi Ham
    • 1
  • Woojin Paik
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Nursing ScienceKonkuk UniversityKorea
  2. 2.Dept. of Computer ScienceKonkuk UniversityKorea

Personalised recommendations