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April 1975

A Multilingual Self-Administered Symptom History

Author Affiliations

From the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, and the Clinical Research Unit of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.

Arch Intern Med. 1975;135(4):612-614. doi:10.1001/archinte.1975.00330040124021

A multilingual computer-derived symptom history was developed from a two-stage yesno symptom questionnaire, based on a library of 4,000 numbered questions. The English primary and secondary questionnaires were translated into German, Italian, French, Spanish, Greek, and Yugoslav. "Yes" answers to the numbered primary questions presented in these languages were processed by a computer that generated individualized secondary questions in the same language. "Yes" answers to these numbered questions were processed by a second computer program that printed out the narrative history in English. As well as other benefits of automated symptom histories, there is now a facility for the computer to acquire a patient's history in one language and print it out in any other.

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