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Do machine translations increase the usefulness of summaries of MEDLINE abstracts? A preliminary study with medical students and physicians in Peru.
Searching and reading MEDLINE citations and abstracts can be challenging for non-native English speakers. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the usefulness of an interface that incorporated an automatic machine translation of MEDLINE citations, short “bottom line” summaries and abstract from English into Spanish. Twenty one participants (5 physicians and 16 medical students) from a Peruvian medical school evaluated the perceived usefulness of the translations. Overall, Spanish translations were rated as “useful” to “very useful” (3.7/5, mode=4). We also found that more than a half of the participants (62%) and most of the suggestions were related to interface improvement (33.3%) already underway. Improving the search boxes and the translation were also suggested. A usability evaluation study with more participants and with special measurement instruments designed for web interfaces is planned.