bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2019‒10‒27
eight papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. BMC Bioinformatics. 2019 Oct 22. 20(1): 511
    Ben Abacha A, Demner-Fushman D.
      BACKGROUND: One of the challenges in large-scale information retrieval (IR) is developing fine-grained and domain-specific methods to answer natural language questions. Despite the availability of numerous sources and datasets for answer retrieval, Question Answering (QA) remains a challenging problem due to the difficulty of the question understanding and answer extraction tasks. One of the promising tracks investigated in QA is mapping new questions to formerly answered questions that are "similar".RESULTS: We propose a novel QA approach based on Recognizing Question Entailment (RQE) and we describe the QA system and resources that we built and evaluated on real medical questions. First, we compare logistic regression and deep learning methods for RQE using different kinds of datasets including textual inference, question similarity, and entailment in both the open and clinical domains. Second, we combine IR models with the best RQE method to select entailed questions and rank the retrieved answers. To study the end-to-end QA approach, we built the MedQuAD collection of 47,457 question-answer pairs from trusted medical sources which we introduce and share in the scope of this paper. Following the evaluation process used in TREC 2017 LiveQA, we find that our approach exceeds the best results of the medical task with a 29.8% increase over the best official score.
    CONCLUSIONS: The evaluation results support the relevance of question entailment for QA and highlight the effectiveness of combining IR and RQE for future QA efforts. Our findings also show that relying on a restricted set of reliable answer sources can bring a substantial improvement in medical QA.
    Keywords:  Consumer Health Questions; Deep Learning; Information Retrieval; Machine Learning; Medical Question-Answer Dataset; Question Answering; Recognizing Question Entailment
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12859-019-3119-4
  2. Pediatr Surg Int. 2019 Oct 25.
    Wong SSM, Wong KPL, Angus MIL, Chen Y, Choo CSC, Nah SA.
      PURPOSE: Little is known of how children seek health information. This study evaluates online health information (OHI) seeking behaviours in adolescents undergoing major elective surgical procedures and compares responses within parent-child dyads.METHODS: With institutional approval, we prospectively surveyed parents of children admitted to our institution for major elective operations between November 2017 and November 2018, using convenience sampling. Patients aged 12 years and above were also invited. Each respondent completed an anonymized modification of a previously published survey on Internet usage. Chi squared tests were used for categorical data, with significance at P value < 0.05.
    RESULTS: Ninety-one parents and 19 patients (median age 15 years, range 12-18) responded, with 13 parent-child pairs. Daily Internet access was reported by 84 (93%) parents and 18 (95%) children, but OHI was sought in 77% of parents and 74% of children. Six (32%) children could not name their admitting condition, compared to 10 (11%) parents. Nine (50%) children consulted family and friends for information compared to 27 (30%) parents. Parents were more likely to access hospital websites (n = 15, 44%) compared to no children (p = 0.01), while most children (n = 7, 70%) accessed non-health websites (e.g. Wikipedia). In the 13 parent-child pairs, only one parent accurately assessed what their child understood of their condition. Most patients (63.6%) did not understand the aspects of their condition that their parents deemed important.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the differences in parental and child behaviours. Children are equally important to include when counselling. Surgeons can guide both parties to reliable Internet sources for health information.
    Keywords:  Adolescent; Health information; Health literacy; Internet; Surgery
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00383-019-04592-0
  3. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 Oct 21.
    Ishida JH, Zhang AJ, Steigerwald S, Cohen BE, Vali M, Keyhani S.
      BACKGROUND: Marijuana is currently legal for recreational use in 10 states and Washington DC while a total of 34 states have implemented varying degrees of medical marijuana. The commercialization of marijuana has been accompanied by a proliferation of false claims regarding the therapeutic potential of marijuana, which are popularized by several different information sources. To date, no study has examined where US adults get their information regarding marijuana.OBJECTIVE: To determine the sources of information associated with believing unsupported claims about marijuana.
    DESIGN: Probability-based online survey PARTICIPANTS: 16,820 adults, with a response rate of about 55% (N = 9003) MAIN MEASURES: Most influential sources of information about marijuana and belief of statements consistent with misinformation, for example, smoking marijuana has preventative health benefits, secondhand marijuana smoke or use during pregnancy is completely or somewhat safe, and marijuana is not at all addictive.
    KEY RESULTS: There were 9003 respondents (response rate 55%). Forty-three percent believed unsupported claims about marijuana. The most influential sources of information were health professionals, traditional media, friends/relatives, and social media/internet. Individuals reporting social media or the Internet (1.46 CI [1.30, 1.64]), the marijuana industry (e.g., advertisements, dispensaries) (2.88 CI [2.15, 3.88]), and friends or relatives (1.41 CI[1.26, 1.58]) as the most influential source of information about marijuana were more likely to believe any statement consistent with misinformation about marijuana in comparison with those who reported other sources as most influential.
    CONCLUSIONS: Individuals reporting the most significant source of information regarding marijuana was from social media or the Internet, the marijuana industry, or friends or relatives were more likely to believe unsupported claims about marijuana. Public health campaigns to counter the misinformation about marijuana to the public are needed.
    Keywords:  beliefs; information source; marijuana
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-019-05335-6
  4. Psychooncology. 2019 Oct 25.
    Jiang S, Liu PL.
      OBJECTIVE: The current study aims to explore the trend of Internet health information seeking (IHIS) in cancer survivors, and the relationship between four dimensions of digital divide (e.g., mental access, material access, skills access, and usage access) and IHIS.METHODS: Data from three iterations (2011, 2013, 2017) of Health Information National Trends Survey were analyzed. Only cancer survivors (2011: n=563; 2013: n=459; 2017: n=504) were included. ANOVA and multivariate regressions were performed.
    RESULTS: The rate of IHIS among cancer survivors has increased from 53.5% in 2011 to 69.2% in 2017. Also, across the three survey years, material access (e.g., physical Internet access), usage access (e.g., eHealth activities), and mental access (e.g., trust in online health information) have remained a significant and positive relationship with IHIS. Skills access (e.g., health information seeking skills) and the other mental access factor, self-efficacy in health information seeking, were not significantly associated with IHIS over time.
    CONCLUSIONS: This research revealed a rising trend of IHIS adoption in cancer survivors, and demonstrated significant relationships between digital divide and IHIS. We call for targeted interventions to reduce the digital divide barriers for cancer survivors.
    Keywords:  Internet health information seeking; cancer survivors; digital divide; health disparity; trend study
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.5247
  5. Acad Pediatr. 2019 Oct 21. pii: S1876-2859(19)30391-2. [Epub ahead of print]
    Bryan MA, Evans Y, Morishita C, Midamba N, Moreno M.
      OBJECTIVE: 1) To evaluate differences in how parents use the internet and social media for health information by child age 2) To examine parental perceptions of health information on social media METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of parents of children 0-18 years seen in clinics and an inpatient medical unit. Survey questions focused on: patterns of internet and social media use, for what topics, and parental ratings of the accuracy, reliability and appeal of information from social media. Parents' responses were categorized by age of their youngest child in years (0-4, 5-11, 12-18).RESULTS: 258 parents completed the survey. The mean age was 39.8 years, 83% were female, 59% were white. The most common topics parents read about online were: sleep, mental health and car safety. Nearly all parents (96%) used social media, with 68% using social media for health information. There were no significant differences in the proportion of parents who reported using social media for health information by child age. Only half of parents discussed information from social media with their physician. Parents of children age≥5 years rated health information on social media as significantly more accurate than parents of younger children. There were no significant differences in ratings of reliability and appeal by child age.
    CONCLUSIONS: Parents of children of all ages use social media for a variety of important topics related to child health. As many parents do not discuss it with their physician, there are missed opportunities for pediatricians to provide high quality information.
    Keywords:  Health Information; Parents; Social Media
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2019.09.009
  6. J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2019 Oct 18.
    Alberti TL, Crawford SL.
      BACKGROUND: Although studies suggest that most patients use healthcare professionals as the main source of health information, the ease of Internet access has resulted in a growing number of people who seek health information from other sources. Health information-seeking skills and patterns may influence follow-through with treatment recommendations.PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore the health information-seeking behaviors (HISBs) of urgent care (UC) patients and the association to adherence to discharge instructions.
    METHODS: A HISB questionnaire was administered to adults presenting for care at a UC clinic. A repeated measure of HISB and the Medical Outcomes Study General Adherence Scale were administered 10-14 days after UC visit. Descriptive and bivariate analyses determined HISB and their association with discharge instruction adherence.
    RESULTS: Two hundred ten patients completed all surveys. Family and friends were the most common health information source used both before and after an UC visit. Seeking health information through family/friends after the visit was negatively associated with adherence (covariate adjusted p value, .0003).
    IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: At times of episodic illness, patients tend to seek health information from family and friends with greater frequency than traditional medical, online, or paper sources. Nurse practitioners working in UC or emergent care settings should include family and friends at the time of discharge teaching because patients may use these sources for additional health information, which may affect instruction adherence.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1097/JXX.0000000000000262
  7. AEM Educ Train. 2019 Oct;3(4): 375-386
    Grock A, Bhalerao A, Chan TM, Thoma B, Wescott AB, Trueger NS.
      Background: Online resources for emergency medicine (EM) trainees and physicians have variable quality and inconsistent coverage of core topics. In this first entry of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Systematic Online Academic Resource (SOAR) series, we describe the application of a systematic methodology to comprehensively identify, collate, and curate online content for topic-specific modules.Methods: A list of module topics and related terms was generated from the American Board of Emergency Medicine's Model of the Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine. The authors selected "renal and genitourinary" for the first module, which contained 35 terms; all MeSH headers and colloquial synonyms related to the topic and related terms were searched both within the 100 most impactful online educational websites per the Social Media Index and the FOAMsearch.net search engine. Duplicate entries, journal articles, images, and archives were excluded. The quality of each article was rated using the revised METRIQ (rMETRIQ) score.
    Results: The search yielded 13,058 online resources. After 12,717 items were excluded, 341 underwent quality assessment. All renal/genitourinary topics were covered by at least one resource. The median rMETRIQ score was 11 of 21 (interquartile range = 8-14). Calculus of urinary tract was most prominently featured with 60 posts. Thirty-four posts (10% of full-text screened FOAM articles) covering 12 core topics were identified as high quality (rMETRIQ ≥ 16).
    Conclusions: We demonstrated the feasibility of systematically identifying and curating FOAM resources for a specific EM topic and identified an overrepresentation of some subtopics. This curated list of resources may guide trainees, teacher recommendations, and resource producers. Further entries in the series will address other topics relevant to EM.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/aet2.10351
  8. Online J Public Health Inform. 2019 ;11(2): e13
    Nangsangna RD, da-Costa Vroom F.
      Over the years, health care delivery and ways of accessing health information have transformed rapidly through the use of technology. The internet has played a key role in this advancement by serving as an important source of health information to people regardless of their location, language or condition. This cross sectional study was conducted in the Kwahu West Municipal to determine factors influencing online health information seeking behaviours among patients. Three hospitals in the municipality were purposively selected for the study. Outpatients attending these facilities were systematically selected and data was collected using structured interviewer administered questionnaire. The study findings revealed that internet usage rate among patients was 85.8%. However, only 35.7% of patients ever used the internet to access health information. Sex, education and average monthly income were significant factors associated with online health information seeking. The study also showed that, computer and internet experience factors increased the probability of using internet for health information. After adjusting for confounding factors; being employed, earning higher income and owning a computer were positive predictors of online health information seeking. It is important to explore other means of reducing the disparity in information access by improving skill and health literacy among the low social class who cannot afford internet ready devices. Health care providers should recognize that patients are seeking health information from the internet and should be prepared to assist and promote internet user skills among their patients.
    Keywords:  Internet; Online Health Information Seeking Behaviour
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v11i2.10141