bims-librar Biomed news
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2019‒01‒20
four papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. Neurosurgery. 2019 Jan 12.
    O'Donohoe TJ, Dhillon R, Bridson TL, Tee J.
      BACKGROUND: Systematic review (SR) abstracts are frequently relied upon to guide clinical decision-making. However, there is mounting evidence that the quality of abstract reporting in the medical literature is suboptimal.OBJECTIVE: To appraise SR abstract reporting quality in neurosurgical journals and identify factors associated with improved reporting.
    METHODS: This study systematically surveyed SR abstracts published in 8 leading neurosurgical journals between 8 April 2007 and 21 August 2017. Abstracts were identified through a search of the MEDLINE database and their reporting quality was determined in duplicate using a tool derived from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses for Abstracts (PRISMA-A) statement. All SR abstracts that provided comparison between treatment strategies were eligible for inclusion. Descriptive statistics were utilized to identify factors associated with improved reporting.
    RESULTS: A total of 257 abstracts were included in the analysis, with a mean of 22.8 (±25.3) included studies. The overall quality of reporting in included abstracts was suboptimal, with a mean score of 53.05% (±11.18). Reporting scores were higher among abstracts published after the release of the PRISMA-A guidelines (M = 56.52; 21.74-73.91) compared with those published beforehand (M = 47.83; 8.70-69.57; U = 4346.00, z = -4.61, P < .001). Similarly, both word count (r = 0.338, P < .001) and journal impact factor (r = 0.199, P = .001) were associated with an improved reporting score.
    CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that the overall reporting quality of abstracts in leading neurosurgical journals requires improvement. Strengths include the large number abstracts assessed, and its weaknesses include the fact that only neurosurgery-specific journals were surveyed. We recommend that attention be turned toward strengthening abstract submission and peer-review processes.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyy615
  2. Hand (N Y). 2019 Jan 17. 1558944718821417
    Steimle J, Gabriel S, Tarr R, Kohrs B, Johnston P, Martineau D.
      BACKGROUND: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is one of the most common diagnoses in a hand surgeon's office, with estimated cost exceeding US $2 billion annually in the United States. Due to this prevalence and cost, patients often turn to the Internet for their medical care. It has been estimated that 72% of Internet users have looked online for health information in the last year. There is concern that patients may be getting misinformation with their Internet medical searches.METHODS: An informal survey of the Internet was conducted to evaluate the content available to the public on the Internet and social media platforms regarding the diagnosis and treatment of CTS. The top 20 listings of 3 major search engines and information within 3 major social media sites were included.
    RESULTS: Information gleaned from the search showed that while most listings were helpful in providing accurate diagnostic information and appropriate treatment modalities, there was also a great number of treatment modalities mentioned that may not be recommended by the treating physician. The guidelines established by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons both in 2007 and in 2008 and more recently in 2016 were used as a general reference but not directly compared with the informal Internet search for statistical analysis.
    CONCLUSIONS: This search outlines the importance of the information readily available to patients and how this may potentially alter patients' expectations prior to their arrival in the office.
    Keywords:  American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; Internet search; carpal tunnel syndrome; electrodiagnostic studies; social media
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/1558944718821417
  3. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2019 Jan 17.
    Rezniczek GA, Hilal Z, Helal A, Schiermeier S, Tempfer CB.
      PURPOSE: The Internet has become a widely used source of healthcare information. Many Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology use their websites for public relations purposes. It is, however, unclear, what relevant stakeholders such as patients, relatives of patients, physicians, and medical students expect of an Obstetrics and Gynecology Department's website. Therefore, we evaluated the opinions and expectations of the various stakeholders using a structured questionnaire.METHODS: We asked gynecologic patients, obstetric patients, relatives of patients, medical students, and physicians to fill in an anonymous questionnaire consisting of general facts about the informant, one open-ended question on expectations and wishes regarding the website, and 28 rating scale questions (7-step visual analog scale ranging from, not important' to, very important') covering the topics "website navigation" (4 questions), "first contact" (3 questions), "clinic processes" (7 questions), "facts and figures about the Department" (4 questions), "visual impressions" (5 questions), and "obstetrics-specific items" (5 questions). Questionnaires for physicians included four additional questions about the value of Department websites as an information tool for themselves and their patients. We used descriptive statistics to analyze the data.
    RESULTS: 1458 questionnaires were analyzed (gynecologic patients, n = 615 [42%]; obstetric patients, n = 479 [33%]; relatives of patients, n = 77 [5%]; medical students n = 238 [16%]; physicians, n = 41 [3%]). The number of circulated questionnaires was not recorded and thus, the response rate is unknown. 1304 (89%) respondents used the Internet as a regular source of health care information, 642 (44%) had previously searched an Obstetrics and Gynecology Department website. All respondents rated contact data and information about processes in the clinic highest; whereas, other issues such as medical facts, visual impressions, and website design issues were significantly less important. Pregnant women rated contact information and obstetric facts highest. 90% of physicians regularly used Department websites for patient referrals and rated contact information and medical team details most important.
    CONCLUSIONS: When designing a website of an Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, contact information and information about processes in the clinic should be displayed most prominently and be easily accessible. Subsections specifically targeted at obstetric patients and physicians should be provided.
    Keywords:  Content; Design; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Quality; Website; World Wide Web
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-019-05051-w
  4. Database (Oxford). 2019 Jan 01. 2019
    Smalheiser NR, Luo M, Addepalli S, Cui X.
      Clinical case reports are the `eyewitness reports' of medicine and provide a valuable, unique, albeit noisy and underutilized type of evidence. Generally a case report has a single main finding that represents the reason for writing up the report in the first place. In the present study, we present the results of manual annotation carried out by two individuals on 500 randomly sampled case reports. This corpus contains main finding sentences extracted from title, abstract and full-text of the same article that can be regarded as semantically related and are often paraphrases. The final reconciled corpus of 416 articles comprises an open resource for further study. This is the first step in establishing text mining models and tools that can identify main finding sentences in an automated fashion, and in measuring quantitatively how similar any two main findings are. We envision that case reports in PubMed may be automatically indexed by main finding, so that users can carry out information queries for specific main findings (rather than general topics)-and given one case report, a user can retrieve those having the most similar main findings. The metric of main finding similarity may also potentially be relevant to the modeling of paraphrasing, summarization and entailment within the biomedical literature.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/database/bay143