AUD-DSS: a decision support system for early detection of patients with alcohol use disorder

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Background: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) causes significant morbidity, mortality, and injuries. According to reports, approximately 5% of all registered deaths in Denmark could be due to AUD. The problem is compounded by the late identification of patients with AUD, a situation that can cause enormous problems, from psychological to physical to economic problems. Many individuals suffering from AUD never undergo specialist treatment during their addiction due to obstacles such as taboo and the poor performance of current screening tools. Therefore, there is a lack of rapid intervention. This can be mitigated by the early detection of patients with AUD. A clinical decision support system (DSS) powered by machine learning (ML) methods can be used to diagnose patients’ AUD status earlier. Methods: This study proposes an effective AUD prediction model (AUDPM), which can be used in a DSS. The proposed model consists of four distinct components: (1) imputation to address missing values using the k-nearest neighbours approach, (2) recursive feature elimination with cross validation to select the most relevant subset of features, (3) a hybrid synthetic minority oversampling technique-edited nearest neighbour approach to remove noise and balance the distribution of the training data, and (4) an ML model for the early detection of patients with AUD. Two data sources, including a questionnaire and electronic health records of 2571 patients, were collected from Odense University Hospital in the Region of Southern Denmark for the AUD-Dataset. Then, the AUD-Dataset was used to build ML models. The results of different ML models, such as support vector machine, K-nearest neighbour, decision tree, random forest, and extreme gradient boosting, were compared. Finally, a combination of all these models in an ensemble learning approach was selected for the AUDPM. Results: The results revealed that the proposed ensemble AUDPM outperformed other single models and our previous study results, achieving 0.96, 0.94, 0.95, and 0.97 precision, recall, F1-score, and accuracy, respectively. In addition, we designed and developed an AUD-DSS prototype. Conclusion: It was shown that our proposed AUDPM achieved high classification performance. In addition, we identified clinical factors related to the early detection of patients with AUD. The designed AUD-DSS is intended to be integrated into the existing Danish health care system to provide novel information to clinical staff if a patient shows signs of harmful alcohol use; in other words, it gives staff a good reason for having a conversation with patients for whom a conversation is relevant.

TidsskriftBMC Bioinformatics
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider24
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2023


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