Methods Inf Med 2021; 60(05/06): 162-170
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1735168
Original Article

Ontology Engineering for Gastric Dystemperament in Persian Medicine

Hassan Shojaee-Mend
1  Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran
2  Department of Health Information Management, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Haleh Ayatollahi
3  Health Management and Economics Research Center, Health Management Research Institute, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Azam Abdolahadi
4  Department of Complementary Medicine, Research Institute for Islamic and Complementary Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
› Author Affiliations
Funding This work was funded and supported by Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (IUMS/SHMIS_97–3-37–12671).


Objective Developing an ontology can help collecting and sharing information in traditional medicine including Persian medicine in a well-defined format. The present study aimed to develop an ontology for gastric dystemperament in the Persian medicine.

Methods This was a mixed-methods study conducted in 2019. The first stage was related to providing an ontology requirements specification document. In the second stage, important terms, concepts, and their relationships were identified via literature review and expert panels. Then, the results derived from the second stage were refined and validated using the Delphi method in three rounds. Finally, in the fourth stage, the ontology was evaluated in terms of consistency and coherence.

Results In this study, 241 concepts related to different types of gastric dystemperament, diagnostic criteria, and treatments in the Persian medicine were identified through literature review and expert panels, and 12 new concepts were suggested during the Delphi study. In total, after performing three rounds of the Delphi study, 233 concepts were identified. Finally, an ontology was developed with 71 classes, and the results of the evaluation study revealed that the ontology was consistent and coherent.

Conclusion In this study, an ontology was created for gastric dystemperament in the Persian medicine. This ontology can be used for designing future systems, such as case-based reasoning and expert systems. Moreover, the use of other evaluation methods is suggested to construct a more complete and precise ontology.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Received: 20 February 2021

Accepted: 12 July 2021

Publication Date:
26 August 2021 (online)

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