bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2019‒07‒14
eleven papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. J Med Internet Res. 2019 Jul 12. 21(7): e13739
    Tizek L, Schielein M, Rüth M, Ständer S, Pereira MP, Eberlein B, Biedermann T, Zink A.
      BACKGROUND: The burden of pruritus is high, especially among patients with dermatologic diseases. Identifying trends in pruritus burden and people's medical needs is challenging, since not all affected people consult a physician.OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate pruritus search behavior trends in Germany and identify associations with weather factors.
    METHODS: Google AdWords Keyword Planner was used to quantify pruritus-related search queries in 16 German cities from August 2014 to July 2018. All identified keywords were qualitatively categorized and pruritus-related terms were descriptively analyzed. The number of search queries per 100,000 inhabitants of each city was compared to environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter (PM10), and sunshine duration to investigate potential correlations.
    RESULTS: We included 1150 pruritus-related keywords, which resulted in 2,851,290 queries. "Pruritus" (n=115,680) and "anal pruritus" (n=102,390) were the most-searched-for keywords. Nearly half of all queries were related to the category localization, with Berlin and Munich having a comparatively high proportion of people that searched for pruritus in the genital and anal areas. People searched more frequently for information on chronic compared to acute pruritus. The most populated cities had the lowest number of queries per 100,000 inhabitants (Berlin, n=13,641; Hamburg, n=18,303; and Munich, n=21,363), while smaller cities (Kiel, n=35,027; and Freiburg, n=39,501) had the highest. Temperature had a greater effect on search query number (beta -7.94, 95% CI -10.74 to -5.15) than did PM10 (beta -5.13, 95% CI -7.04 to -3.22), humidity (beta 4.73, 95% CI 2.70 to 6.75), or sunshine duration (beta 0.66, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.97). The highest relative number of search queries occurred during the winter (ie, December to February).
    CONCLUSIONS: By taking into account the study results, Google data analysis helps to examine people's search frequency, behavior, and interest across cities and regions. The results indicated a general increase in search queries during the winter as well as differences across cities located in the same region; for example, there was a decline in search volume in Saarbrucken, while there were increases in Cologne, Frankfurt, and Dortmund. In addition, the detected correlation between search volume and weather data seems to be valuable in predicting an increase in pruritus burden, since a significant association with rising humidity and sunshine duration, as well as declining temperature and PM10, was found. Accordingly, this is an unconventional and inexpensive method to identify search behavior trends and respective inhabitants' needs.
    Keywords:  Internet; environment; informatics; pruritus; retrospective studies; weather
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.2196/13739
  2. J Laryngol Otol. 2019 Jul 08. 1-5
    Faoury M, Upile T, Patel N.
      OBJECTIVE: Many people seek health information from internet sources. Understanding this behaviour can help inform healthcare delivery. This study aimed to review Google Trends as a method for investigating internet-based information-seeking behaviour related to throat cancer in terms of quantity, content and thematic analysis.METHOD: Data was collected using Google Trends. Normalised data was created using the search terms 'throat cancer', 'cancer', 'HPV', 'laryngeal cancer' and 'head and neck cancer'. The search data was used to analyse the temporal and geographical interest pattern of these terms from 2004 to 2015.
    RESULTS: Three important peaks in searches for 'throat cancer' were identified. The first and greatest increase in interest was in September 2010, and there were also peaks in June 2013 and in October 2011.
    CONCLUSION: Internet-search analysis can provide an insight into the information-seeking behaviour of the public. Mass media can hugely affect this information-seeking behaviour. Possessing tools to investigate and understand information-seeking behaviour may be used to improve healthcare delivery.
    Keywords:  Correlation Of Data; Data Analysis; Head And Neck Neoplasms; Papillomavirus Infections; Pharynx
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022215119001348
  3. Transgend Health. 2019 ;4(1): 131-135
    Dowshen NL, Christensen J, Gruschow SM.
      We assessed online health insurance plan indication of coverage and accessibility of information for recommended services for transgender youth (TY). Content analysis was performed for plans used at a pediatric Gender Clinic by reviewing information about coverage of puberty blockers, hormones, masculinizing chest surgery, and counseling. Transgender-specific exclusions and the time required for the research assistant to review each plan's online information were noted. No plan (0%; n=36) indicated coverage of all four categories of recommended services online. Forty-nine percent indicated ≥1 transgender-specific exclusion. The median time required for a research assistant to review online coverage information for each insurance plan was 50 min. Efforts are needed to ensure that online insurance information is accessible and updated in accordance with policy and coverage recommendations for TY.
    Keywords:  health policy; insurance coverage; transgender health; transgender youth
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1089/trgh.2018.0055
  4. Matern Child Nutr. 2019 Jul 12. e12874
    Regan S, Brown A.
      Breastfeeding support is integral to many women's successful breastfeeding experiences. However cuts to professional and peer support services, distance from family, and a predominant formula feeding culture mean that many women in the UK do not receive the support they need. Turning to online support is an increasingly popular means of gaining both informational and emotional support but research into online breastfeeding support groups is sparse in the UK. Data from Australia and the USA tends to focus on the positives: women value such groups, finding information, reassurance and a feeling of belonging. This study explored 14 women's experiences of using online support for breastfeeding in the UK, using semi structured interviews to understand their motivations, positive and negative experiences. Mothers were drawn to online support due to a lack of professional, familial and partner support. Online support was reassuring, empathetic and available around the clock, and less daunting than attending a face-to-face group. Many attributed their continued breastfeeding to the support they received. However women also experienced negativities: judgement for using formula, polarised debate and a lack of regulation meaning that unhelpful information was sometimes posted. The findings have important implications for those working to support mothers. These groups provide a safe space for breastfeeding mothers but moderation is needed of such groups to ensure information is accurate and debate respectful. Online support groups are currently plugging a gap in funded support; they should be in addition not in replacement to professional and trained peer support services.
    Keywords:  Breastfeeding; Facebook; Formula feeding; Online support; Peer support; Social media
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12874
  5. Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao. 2019 Jun 30. 41(3): 388-395
    Zhen HN, Miao Z, Lian X, Hu K, Shen J, Ma JB, Guan H, Zhang FQ.
      Objective To investigate the demand for scientific information among cervical cancer patients and to evaluate the quality of the relevant information available for these patients.Methods The demand for medical science information among patients with cervical cancer was investigated via questionnaire.The Discernn scoring system was used to score the cervical cancer science articles retrieved by Baidu and Sogou.A model was established to analyse the reading difficulty of these articles.Results Nearly half(53.6%)of the respondents searched for online science information at least weekly.The main target readings were the etiology and risk factors of diseases,symptoms,treatment options,adverse reactions of treatments,and prognosis.Most respondents(96.4%)thought that the network science information was reliable.Of the 104 search results included in the sample bank,13(12.5%)met the inclusion criteria,91(87.5%)were not selected,including 32 duplicates(30.8%),6 non-text webpages(5.8%),18 short texts(less than 300 Chinese characters)(17.3%),7 advertisements(6.7%),3 news articles(2.9%),22 forum posts(21.2%),and 3 academic articles(2.9%).According to the Discern scoring system,the reliability(r=0.728, P<0.001),the quality of treatment-related information(r=0.431, P<0.001),and the overall scores(r=0.559,P<0.001)of the enrolled 13 publications were consistent,as evaluated by two professional physicians.The mean overall score was 3.A lower score(less than 3)in the reliability assessment was due to the source of the content,generation methods,sponsors,citations,and the undefined parts.During the evaluation of treatment information,the average score was below 3 for each item.Analysis of the reading difficulty showed that,among these 13 articles,4 were at postgraduate thesis level(level 5),4 at undergraduate thesis level(level 4),0 at high school textbook level(level 3),and 8 was higher than middle school level(≥level 3).Eight articles(61.5%)were suitable for readers with an education background of higher middle school and only 5 articles(38.5%)were suitable for readers with an education background of middle school or lower(≤ level 2).Conclusions The vast majority of patients with cervical cancer search for clinical information through the Internet and trust their reliability.Chinese search engines have lower detection rates for high-quality medical science articles.The currently available high-quality medical science articles are small in number and difficult to read.More physicians are urged to write easy-to-read high-quality articles for these patients.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3881/j.issn.1000-503X.11149
  6. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Jul 10. pii: E2455. [Epub ahead of print]16(14):
    Zhou J, Fan T.
      Although online health communities (OHCs) are increasingly popular in public health promotion, few studies have explored the factors influencing patient e-health literacy in OHCs. This paper aims to address the above gap. Based on social cognitive theory, we identified one behavioral factor (i.e., health knowledge seeking) and one social environmental factor (i.e., social interaction ties) and proposed that both health knowledge seeking and social interaction ties directly influence patient e-health literacy; in addition, social interaction ties positively moderate the effect of health knowledge seeking on patient e-health literacy. We collected 333 valid data points and verified our three hypotheses. The empirical results provide two crucial findings. First, both health knowledge seeking and social interaction ties positively influence patient e-health literacy in OHCs. Second, social interaction ties positively moderate the effect of health knowledge seeking on patient e-health literacy. These findings firstly contribute to public health literature by exploring the mechanism of how different factors influence patient e-health literacy in OHCs and further contribute to e-health literacy literature by verifying the impact of social environmental factors.
    Keywords:  e-health literacy; online health communities; social cognitive theory
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142455
  7. J Cancer Surviv. 2019 Jul 08.
    Wieldraaijer T, Duineveld LAM, Bemelman WA, van Weert HCPM, Wind J.
      PURPOSE: Adequately informing patients is considered crucial in cancer care, but need for information and information seeking behaviour of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients in the Netherlands are currently not well known.METHODS: In a prospective study, patients participating in a specialty, hospital-based follow-up program completed three consecutive surveys over a 6-month period to analyse their information need and information seeking behaviour.
    RESULTS: Patients (n = 259) felt well informed about their treatment (86%), disease (84%), and follow-up program (80%), but less well informed about future expectations (49%), nutrition (43%), recommended physical activity (42%), and heredity of cancer (40%). The need for more information on these subjects remained constant over the first five postoperative years. Patients who were younger, who had undergone chemotherapy, or who had comorbid conditions needed more information on several subjects. One in three patients searched for information themselves, mostly on the Internet. One in four patients consulted a health care provider for information, mostly their GP. Younger and more educated patients more often searched for information themselves, while patients undergoing chemotherapy more often consulted the hospital nurse. Information seeking behaviour remained constant over time.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study showed where current information provision is perceived as adequate and on which subject improvements can be made. It identifies information seeking behaviour and proposes ways to personalize information provision.
    IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: The GP is most frequently consulted for information; involving GPs in CRC follow-up could improve information provision on several subjects for several patients.
    Keywords:  Colorectal cancer; Follow-up; General practitioners; Information needs; Information seeking behaviour; Patients
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-019-00779-5
  8. J Med Internet Res. 2019 Jul 08. 21(7): e11340
    Wiegers TA, Hendriks M, Malanda U, de Boer D.
      BACKGROUND: Information on health and health care is abundant on the internet. To make informed choices, patients need reliable and easy-to-understand information about quality and availability of care providers and treatment options. However, the reliability of such Web-based information is difficult to assess.OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to test Web-based information about diabetes and dementia and specifically a new presentation format of care routes to see if people are able to understand and use the information.
    METHODS: Overall, 38 cognitive interviews were held; 20 people viewed the information about diabetes and 18 viewed the dementia information. Participants were asked what they would want to know about either diabetes or dementia, what choices they would want to make concerning their preferred care provider and treatment, and what information they would like to find to make these choices. They were then asked to view the relevant pages and comment on them. The interview was focused on general information about the condition, the care route, and the quality information for choosing a hospital. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and then systematically coded and ordered into themes.
    RESULTS: The themes that were developed for both Web pages during the analysis were information needs, findability, usability, comprehension and readability, recognizability, care route, quality information, and usefulness. Information needs were found to be very diverse and dependent on the personal situation and condition of the participant. Several participants were unable to find specific items because they were not where they expected them to be. Most participants were positive about the layout, font, and color scheme of the test pages. However, options of clicking through to another website and indications where information can be expanded and collapsed could be made clearer. Participants generally found the information easy to understand but felt a need for a more detailed explanation of the medical terms. Recognition of the information played an important role: participants assessed whether the information they found matched their experiences. The term care route meant little to most of the participants, but the layout of the care route itself was found to be clear. Not many respondents spontaneously went to the quality information, and a number of participants had difficulty understanding it. Overall, the participants thought the information on the website was useful and helpful.
    CONCLUSIONS: The cognitive interviews gave numerous insights into how Web-based information is processed and understood. The care route offers a clear overview of the various stages as the condition progresses, but the name care route is not clear to everyone. We gained insight into differences between subgroups of people in terms of information needs, comprehension, and use of the information because the diversity within the group of participants was lower than expected.
    Keywords:  choice behavior; patients; qualitative research
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.2196/11340
  9. J Med Internet Res. 2019 Jul 09. 21(7): e14289
    Moon RY, Mathews A, Oden R, Carlin R.
      BACKGROUND: Traditionally, guidance and support to new parents have come from family, friends, and health care providers. However, the internet and social media are growing sources of guidance and support for parents. Little is known about how the internet and social media are used by parents of young infants and specifically about parental perceptions of the internet and social media as sources of parenting and infant health information.OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore, using qualitative methods, parental perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of the internet and social media as sources of parenting and health information regarding their infant.
    METHODS: A total of 28 mothers participated in focus groups or individual interviews. Probing questions concerning parenting and health information sources were asked. Themes were developed in an iterative manner from coded data.
    RESULTS: The central themes were (1) reasons that mothers turn to the internet for parenting and health information, (2) cautionary advice about the internet, and (3) reasons that mothers turn to social media for parenting and health information. Mothers appreciated the ability to gather unlimited information and multiple opinions quickly and anonymously, but recognized the need to use reputable sources of information. Mothers also appreciated the immediacy of affirmation, support, and tailored information available through social media.
    CONCLUSIONS: The internet and social media are rapidly becoming important and trusted sources of parenting and health information that mothers turn to when making infant care decisions.
    Keywords:  focus groups; internet; parenting; social media
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.2196/14289
  10. Health Lit Res Pract. 2017 Oct;1(4): e182-e191
    Massey PM, Kim MC, Dalrymple PW, Rogers ML, Hawthorne KH, Manganello JA.
      Background: With an increase in the number of disciplines contributing to health literacy scholarship, we sought to explore the nature of interdisciplinary research in the field.Objective: This study sought to describe disciplines that contribute to health literacy research and to quantify how disciplines draw from and contribute to an interdisciplinary evidence base, as measured by citation networks.
    Methods: We conducted a literature search for health literacy articles published between 1991 and 2015 in four bibliographic databases, producing 6,229 unique bibliographic records. We employed a scientometric tool (CiteSpace [Version 4.4.R1]) to quantify patterns in published health literacy research, including a visual path from cited discipline domains to citing discipline domains.
    Key Results: The number of health literacy publications increased each year between 1991 and 2015. Two spikes, in 2008 and 2013, correspond to the introduction of additional subject categories, including information science and communication. Two journals have been cited more than 2,000 times-the Journal of General Internal Medicine (n = 2,432) and Patient Education and Counseling (n = 2,252). The most recently cited journal added to the top 10 list of cited journals is the Journal of Health Communication (n = 989). Three main citation paths exist in the health literacy data set. Articles from the domain "medicine, medical, clinical" heavily cite from one domain (health, nursing, medicine), whereas articles from the domain "psychology, education, health" cite from two separate domains (health, nursing, medicine and psychology, education, social).
    Conclusions: Recent spikes in the number of published health literacy articles have been spurred by a greater diversity of disciplines contributing to the evidence base. However, despite the diversity of disciplines, citation paths indicate the presence of a few, self-contained disciplines contributing to most of the literature, suggesting a lack of interdisciplinary research. To address complex and evolving challenges in the health literacy field, interdisciplinary team science, that is, integrating science from across multiple disciplines, should continue to grow. [Health Literacy Research and Practice. 2017;1(4):e182-e191.].
    Plain Language Summary: The addition of diverse disciplines conducting health literacy scholarship has spurred recent spikes in the number of publications. However, citation paths suggest that interdisciplinary research can be strengthened. Findings directly align with the increasing emphasis on team science, and support opportunities and resources that incentivize interdisciplinary health literacy research.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3928/24748307-20170829-01
  11. J Korean Med Sci. 2019 Jul 15. 34(27): e184
    Gasparyan AY, Yessirkepov M, Voronov AA, Koroleva AM, Kitas GD.
      The Open Access Initiative is gaining momentum due to the worldwide availability of advanced digital tools, online publishing platforms, and systems for tracking academic contributions. Several declarations and initiatives, including Plan S, have already laid a foundation for moving away from subscription to full and immediate open-access publishing. The global initiatives imply targeting journals satisfying the upgraded quality and visibility criteria. To meet these criteria, a comprehensive approach to Open Access is recommended. This article overviews the essential components of the comprehensive approach, increasing transparency, adherence to ethical standards, and diversification of evaluation metrics. With the increasing volume of quality open-access journals, their indexing with free databases and search engines is becoming increasingly important. The Directory of Open Access Journals and PubMed Central currently free searches of open-access sources. These services, however, cannot fully satisfy the increasing demands of the users, and attempts are underway to upgrade the indexing and archiving of open-access sources in China, Japan, Korea, Russia, and elsewhere. The wide use of identifiers is essential for transparency of scholarly communications. Peer reviewers are now offered credits from Publons. These credits are transferrable to their Open Researcher and Contributor iDs. Various social media channels are increasingly used by scholars to comment on articles. All these comments are tracked by related metric systems, such as Altmetrics. Combined with traditional citation evaluations, the alternative metrics can help timely identify and promote publications influencing education, research, and practice.
    Keywords:  Access to Information; Bibliography as Topic; Open Access Publishing; Peer Review; Periodicals as Topic
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2019.34.e184