bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2020‒02‒02
nine papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. Health Info Libr J. 2020 Jan 27.
    Naeem SB, Bhatti R.
      OBJECTIVES: To measure the perceived ability and level of confidence among doctors in performing the different tasks involved in conducting an online search for clinical decision making.METHODS: A large-scale cross-sectional survey was conducted in 36 District Headquarter Hospitals (DHQs), 89 Tehsil Headquarter Hospitals (THQs), 293 Rural Health Centers (RHCs) and 2455 Basic Health Units (BHUs) in Punjab, Pakistan. Using a quota sampling, data were collected from 517 doctors on a set of 11 statements. The collected data were analysed statistically.
    RESULTS: Of the 517 doctors, 73 (14.1%) had 'never accessed health care information online' for clinical decision making. Mean values of the doctors' response to the 11 statements ranged from 1.66 to 2.30 indicating that most of the doctors were 'not confident' in their ability to perform the tasks.
    CONCLUSION: The majority of doctors perceived themselves able to perform the different tasks involved in conducting an online search. Age and working experience were significant factors in the perception of their ability in performing the tasks. The study recommends promotional and educational activities to motivate interest, increase awareness, develop knowledge and skills for doctors to access information that would help in their clinical decision making.
    Keywords:  Asia, South; database searching; doctors; health professionals; information literacy
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1111/hir.12289
  2. J Clin Epidemiol. 2020 Jan 23. pii: S0895-4356(19)30601-8. [Epub ahead of print]
    Penning de Vries BBL, van Smeden M, Rosendaal FR, Groenwold RHH.
      OBJECTIVE: Article full texts are often inaccessible via the standard search engines of biomedical literature, such as PubMed and Embase, which are commonly used for systematic reviews. Excluding the full text bodies from a literature search may result in a small or selective subset of articles being included in the review because of the limited information that is available in only title, abstract and keywords. This article describes a comparison of search strategies based on a systematic literature review of all manuscripts published in 5 top-ranked epidemiology journals between 2000 and 2017.STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Based on a text-mining approach, we studied whether 9 different methodological topics were mentioned across text fields (title, abstract, keywords, and text body). The following methodological topics were studied: propensity score methods, inverse probability weighting, marginal structural modelling, multiple imputation, Kaplan-Meier estimation, number needed to treat, measurement error, randomized controlled trial, and latent class analysis.
    RESULTS: In total, 31,641 Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) files were downloaded from the journals' websites. For all methodological topics and journals, at most 50% of articles with a mention of a topic in the text body also mentioned the topic in the title, abstract or keywords. For each topic, a gradual decrease over calendar time was observed of reporting in the title, abstract or keywords.
    CONCLUSION: Literature searches based on title, abstract and keywords alone may not be sufficiently sensitive for studies of epidemiological research practice. This study also illustrates the potential value of full text literature searches, provided there is accessibility of full text bodies for literature searches.
    Keywords:  Systematic literature review; bibliometrics; epidemiological methods; statistical methods; text mining
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2020.01.009
  3. Sci Rep. 2020 Jan 28. 10(1): 1372
    Pierri F, Piccardi C, Ceri S.
      In recent years, malicious information had an explosive growth in social media, with serious social and political backlashes. Recent important studies, featuring large-scale analyses, have produced deeper knowledge about this phenomenon, showing that misleading information spreads faster, deeper and more broadly than factual information on social media, where echo chambers, algorithmic and human biases play an important role in diffusion networks. Following these directions, we explore the possibility of classifying news articles circulating on social media based exclusively on a topological analysis of their diffusion networks. To this aim we collected a large dataset of diffusion networks on Twitter pertaining to news articles published on two distinct classes of sources, namely outlets that convey mainstream, reliable and objective information and those that fabricate and disseminate various kinds of misleading articles, including false news intended to harm, satire intended to make people laugh, click-bait news that may be entirely factual or rumors that are unproven. We carried out an extensive comparison of these networks using several alignment-free approaches including basic network properties, centrality measures distributions, and network distances. We accordingly evaluated to what extent these techniques allow to discriminate between the networks associated to the aforementioned news domains. Our results highlight that the communities of users spreading mainstream news, compared to those sharing misleading news, tend to shape diffusion networks with subtle yet systematic differences which might be effectively employed to identify misleading and harmful information.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-58166-5
  4. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(1): e0228438
    Deutz DB, Vlachos E, Drongstrup D, Dorch BF, Wien C.
      Researchers in Europe are increasingly assessed by their publication metrics. To uncover the effect of quantitative assessment on the publication strategies of clinical researchers in Denmark, we interviewed 9 senior researchers at the Department of Clinical Research at the University of Southern Denmark with the lowest and highest values for a, as defined by Hirsch. Our aim is to investigate the importance of these metrics to their academic careers: h-index, number of publications, number of citations, international collaborations, local collaborations, field specific journal publishing and high journal impact factor publishing. To validate our findings we compared their publication record to their statistically analyzed stated publication strategy. Our results indicate two styles of publication strategy used by these senior researchers. Researchers with Low a engage in local collaborations, disseminate knowledge in local media and publish in field specific journals, while researchers with High a engage in international collaborations, invest significant time in publishing in the highest impact journals in their field, and acquire a greater number of citations. Both publication strategies can lead to a successful academic career, yet we have an indication through the h5-index that the practices of the High a group are more likely to nudge the h-index.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228438
  5. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2020 Jan 24. pii: S0360-3016(20)30061-4. [Epub ahead of print]
    Sha ST, Perni S, Muralidhar V, Mahal BA, Sanford NN, Nguyen PL, Dee EC.
      OBJECTIVES: Many patients weighing cancer treatment options may consider relatively novel options including proton radiotherapy (PRT) and turn to the Internet for online health resources (OHR). However, quality and readability of OHR for radiation oncology therapies has been shown to need improvement. As the OHR patients access can influence their treatment decisions, our study sought to understand the patterns of use, quality, and readability of OHR on PRT.METHODS: To validate the need to assess OHR on PRT, we assessed US search patterns for the search phrase "proton therapy" using Google Trends. The Google search engine was then queried for websites with PRT information using ten search phrases. The subsequent websites were analyzed for readability by the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL) and a Composite Grade Level metric comprised of five readability metrics. Quality was analyzed using the DISCERN instrument.
    RESULTS: Search volume index for "proton therapy" increased by an average of 2.0% each year for the last 15 years (January 1, 2005 to June 1, 2019, P<0.001). States that had a greater number of proton centers tended to have a greater relative search volume in Google (P< 0.001). Of the 45 unique websites identified, the mean FKGL was 12.0 (7.3-18.6) and the mean Composite Grade Level was 12.4 (range 7-18). 80% of PRT pages required greater than 11th grade Composite Grade Level. The mean DISCERN score of all websites was 39.7, which corresponds to "fair"-quality OHR.
    CONCLUSION: Despite increasing interest in PRT OHR, in general, PRT websites require reading levels much higher than currently recommended, making PRT OHR less accessible to the average patient. Provision of high quality PRT OHR at the appropriate reading level may increase comprehension of PRT and improve patient autonomy and informed decision among radiation oncology patients.
    Keywords:  Proton radiotherapy; online health resources; patient education; radiation oncology
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.12.043
  6. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020 Jan 28. 194599819901150
    Bojrab DI, Fritz C, Babu S, Lin KF.
      OBJECTIVE: Patients increasingly rely on online resources for medical information; however, the Internet is unregulated and prone to misinformation. This study analyzes the reliability, quality, and readability of websites for Ménière's disease.STUDY DESIGN: A Google search was performed using keywords Ménière's disease. The first 5 pages (50 results) were reviewed. Websites were sorted into 5 categories: academic institutions, government agencies, professional organizations, medical information websites, and miscellaneous. The reliability, quality, and readability of each website were evaluated using the DISCERN instrument and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL). DISCERN assesses reliability and quality by scoring 15 questions on a scale from 1 (low) to 3 (high). The reliability score emphasizes clear objectives and sources, as well as lack of bias, whereas the quality score emphasizes information on treatment options. The FKGL of each website was calculated using a formula to determine the equivalent US grade reading level.
    SETTING: Ambulatory.
    SUBJECTS: None.
    RESULTS: Forty-two websites were analyzed. Academic institutions were the most common (n = 13, 31%) but scored the lowest using DISCERN at 1.75 ± 0.13. Medical information websites scored highest at 2.24 ± 0.09 (P = .024 compared to academic institutions). The average FKGL of all websites was 10.12 ± 0.57 with medical information websites being the easiest to read at 8.84 ± 0.83. Only 5 (13%) of websites scored below the eighth-grade reading level.
    CONCLUSIONS: Most top online search results for Ménière's disease are deficient in quality and readability. Medical information websites are generally the most reliable and easy to read.
    Keywords:  DISCERN index; Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level; Ménière’s disease; online patient education; readability
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/0194599819901150
  7. Curr Urol. 2020 Jan;13(4): 200-208
    Moolla Y, Adam A, Perera M, Lawrentschuk N.
      Background/Aims: In today's information era, patients often seek information regarding health using the internet. We assessed reliability and validity of internet information regarding 'prostate cancer'.Methods: Search term 'prostate cancer' used on Google website (June 2017). Critical analysis was performed on first 100 hits using JAMA benchmarks, DISCERN score, Health on the Net.
    Results: 33 500 000 hits returned. Top 100 hits were critically analyzed. Ten links [duplicate links (n = 7), book reviews (n = 1), dead sites (n = 2)] were excluded, therefore 90 were analyzed. Subcategories assessed included: commercial (53.33%), university/medical center (24.44%), government (13.33%); non-governmental/ non-profit organizations (8.89%). Sub-type of information content assessed included: factual (74.44%), clinical trials (18.89%); stories (5.56%); question and answer (1.11%). Website rated as HONcode seal positive (14,44%) or seal negative (85,56%). Website content based on JAMA benchmarks: 0 benchmarks (4.44%), 1 benchmark (16.67%), 2 benchmarks (34.44%), 3 benchmarks (27.78%), 4 benchmarks (16.67%). DISCERN score rated: 'low' score (16-32) = 12 websites (13.33%), 'moderate' score (33-64 points) = 68 websites (75.56%), 'high' score (≥ 65 points) = 10 websites (11.11%).
    Conclusion: Critical assessment of 'Prostate Cancer' information on the internet, showed that overall quality was observed to be accurate, however majority of individual websites are unreliable as a source of information by itself for patients. Doctors and patients need to be aware of this 'quality vs quantity' discrepancy when sourcing PCa information on the internet.
    Keywords:  DISCERN score; Health on the Net seal; Internet information quality; JAMA Benchmarks; Prostate cancer
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1159/000499271
  8. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Jan 03. 3(1): e1920431
    Gagne SM, Fintelmann FJ, Flores EJ, McDermott S, Mendoza DP, Petranovic M, Price MC, Stowell JT, Little BP.
      Importance: The internet is an important source of medical information for many patients and may have a key role in the education of patients about lung cancer screening (LCS). Although most LCS programs in the United States have informational websites, the accuracy, completeness, and readability of these websites have not previously been studied.Objective: To evaluate the informational content and readability of US LCS program websites.
    Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study assessed US LCS program websites identified on September 15, 2018. A standardized checklist was used to assess key informational content of each website, and text was analyzed for reading level, word count, and reading time. Links to US websites of national advocacy organizations with LCS program content were tabulated. All functional LCS program websites in Google internet search engine results using the search terms lung cancer screening, low-dose CT screening, and lung screening were included in the analysis.
    Main Outcomes and Measures: Radiologists used a standardized checklist to evaluate content, and readability was assessed with validated scales. Website word count, reading time, and number of links to outside LCS informational websites were assessed.
    Results: A total of 257 LCS websites were included in the analysis. The word count ranged from 73 to 4410 (median, 571; interquartile range, 328-909). The reading time ranged from 0.3 to 19.6 minutes (median, 2.5; interquartile range, 1.5-4.0). The median reading level of all websites was grade 10 (interquartile range, 9-11). Only 26% (n = 66) of websites had at least 1 web link to a national website with additional information on LCS. There was wide variability regarding reported eligibility age criteria, with ages 55 to 77 years most frequently cited (42% [n = 108]). Only 56% (n = 143) of websites mentioned smoking cessation. The subject of patient cost was mentioned on 75% (n = 192) of websites. Although major LCS benefits, such as detection of lung cancer, were discussed by most (93% [n = 239]) websites, less than half of the websites (45% [n = 115]) made any mention of possible risks associated with screening.
    Conclusions and Relevance: There appears to be marked variability in the informational content of US LCS program websites, and the reading level of most websites is above that recommended by the American Medical Association and the National Institutes of Health. Efforts to improve website content and readability may be warranted.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.20431