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Supporting Access to Consumer Health Information Across Languages
Access to high-quality online consumer health information is frequently a barrier for non-English speakers and speakers of English as a foreign language. One strategy is to leverage existing English-language systems. In this case study, we present mechanisms developed, designed, and implemented to support access by Spanish speakers to ClinicalTrials.gov. First, we briefly introduce the underlying cross-language information retrieval (CLIR) technology and development of a Spanish-English bilingual term list. We then focus on language-based design decisions and their implications for integrating components of a Spanish-language system with the existing ClinicalTrials.gov system architecture. Data display and navigation issues will also be presented. We conclude with results from a preliminary evaluation of the Spanish-English CLIR prototype. The long-term goal is to adapt such technologies generally for consumer health sites to support access in different languages.