Semantic qualifiers

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Semantic qualifiers are the descriptors (usually paired) that are used by clinicians to compare or contrast clinical phenomena. Clinicians transform the information provided by the patient into descriptive terms in order to understand, process, and facilitate evoking information that is relevant for clinical reasoning. For example, ‘I had this problem before’ becomes ‘recurrent’ and ‘only one joint is swollen’ becomes ‘monoarticular’. Semantic qualifiers serve as a bridge between clinical and basic science knowledge.

  • Banda SB. Overview of diagnostic reasoning: Hypothetical-deductive strategy, problem representation, semantic qualifiers, illness scripts, pattern recognition and prototypes. Medical Journal of Zambia. 2009;36(3).
  • Bordage G. Prototypes and semantic qualifiers: from past to present. Medical Education. 2007;41(12):1117-21.
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