An ontological approach to support the description of nursing practice in Japan with the ICNP

Guoqian D Jiang, Hitomi Sato, Akira Endoh, Katsuhiko Ogasawara, Tsunetaro Sakurai

3 Scopus citations


Background: With increasing computerization of nursing records in Japan, standardization of nursing terminology is becoming imperative. Although some efforts have been made to formalize description of nursing practice in Japan with the International Classification of Nursing Practice (ICNP), lack of effective description tools has impacted negatively on the initiatives. Purpose: To develop and evaluate an ontological approach that could be used to facilitate the description of nursing practice in Japan with the ICNP. Methodology: An ontology-based support system was developed using Protégé-2000, mainly by the following three steps: (1) representing a standard classification of nursing practice (the Nursing Master) in Japan; (2) representing a Japanese version of the ICNP; (3) designing an ontology-based framework. A heuristic matching algorithm was developed to automatically match the action labels in the Nursing Master with the terms of the eight axes of the ICNP Nursing Actions Classification. A preliminary evaluation was performed to examine the usefulness of the system. Results: High hit rate was shown on the ICNP axes Action Type, Target, and Location. The evaluation indicated that 51.7 ± 5.8% (mean ± S.D.) of the action labels with only one action type were properly matched, and that in 80 ± 4% (mean ± S.D.) of action labels with more than one action type, at least one valid action type was matched correctly. Conclusion: The ontology-based approach using a frame-based knowledge representation system (e.g., Protégé-2000) is useful for supporting the formal description of nursing practice in Japan with the ICNP.



  • Knowledge representation
  • Nursing practice
  • Nursing terminology systems
  • Ontology
  • Protégé-2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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