bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2020‒02‒09
fourteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Adv Med Educ Pract. 2020 ;11 71-77
    Herrström K, Larsson S, Einberg EL, Nilsson M, Blomqvist K, Garmy P.
      Background: The majority of candidate theses in baccalaureate nursing programs in Sweden are written as literature studies. Being able to carry out a systematic and structured literature search is an essential part of thesis-related work.Aim: The aim of the current study was to investigate changes in nursing students' search strategies in candidate theses.
    Methods: A retrospective, quantitative study design was obtained. Librarians (n = 2) and teachers (n = 4) randomly examined selected candidate theses (every third thesis, n = 89) from the years 2012, 2014, and 2016.
    Results: The result showed a significant improvement over the years (from 2012 and 2014 to 2016) regarding the use of a sufficient number of synonyms, matching search terms to the respective database, use of the Boolean operator OR, and the use of subject headings and free text searches. Use of the title/abstract search largely disappeared. There was a significant change in the types of searches being done. The searches have become more structured in later years as the use of block searches increased significantly; in other words, more systematic and relevant searches have been done in recent years.
    Conclusion: The result of this study shows that the quality of the students' search strategies improved significantly during the studied years. It is recommended that search documents are used in both formative and summative assessments to evaluate students' search strategies. Educational development in the form of enhanced collaboration between librarians and teachers in nursing programs is recommended because it might help to develop student search strategies in literature-based candidate theses.
    Keywords:  information literacy; information retrieval; library instruction; literature-review-based candidate thesis; nurse education; nursing program; search strategies
  2. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2020 Feb 07. 20(1): 25
    Janssens ACJW, Gwinn M, Brockman JE, Powell K, Goodman M.
      BACKGROUND: We recently developed CoCites, a citation-based search method that is designed to be more efficient than traditional keyword-based methods. The method begins with identification of one or more highly relevant publications (query articles) and consists of two searches: the co-citation search, which ranks publications on their co-citation frequency with the query articles, and the citation search, which ranks publications on frequency of all citations that cite or are cited by the query articles.METHODS: We aimed to reproduce the literature searches of published systematic reviews and meta-analyses and assess whether CoCites retrieves all eligible articles while screening fewer titles.
    RESULTS: A total of 250 reviews were included. CoCites retrieved a median of 75% of the articles that were included in the original reviews. The percentage of retrieved articles was higher (88%) when the query articles were cited more frequently and when they had more overlap in their citations. Applying CoCites to only the highest-cited article yielded similar results. The co-citation and citation searches combined were more efficient when the review authors had screened more than 500 titles, but not when they had screened less.
    CONCLUSIONS: CoCites is an efficient and accurate method for finding relevant related articles. The method uses the expert knowledge of authors to rank related articles, does not depend on keyword selection and requires no special expertise to build search queries. The method is transparent and reproducible.
    Keywords:  Citation; Co-citation; Keywords; Literature search; Meta-analysis; Systematic review
  3. Health Promot Pract. 2020 Feb 01. 1524839919899925
    Nelon JL, Moscarelli M, Stupka P, Sumners C, Uselton T, Patterson MS.
      In the early 2000s, there was a shift in the use of the internet. Individuals on the internet began seeking information from other creators and creating their own content. These online communities allowed individuals to communicate across the globe, gravitating toward people like them or those who shared similar beliefs. Conversations around vaccinations have been particularly polarizing across social media even though scientific literature continually validates their safety and effectiveness. This study will explore whether online public discourse about vaccinations changes before and after major scientific publications, and will measure what is related to social engagement around vaccinations on Twitter. In September 2018, two weeks' worth of Twitter posts (n = 2,919) discussing vaccinations were collected, coded, and analyzed before and after two major 2014 scientific publications. Linear regression analyses examined variables related to engagement with vaccination-related Tweets pre- and postpublication. Antivaccine-related Tweets decreased by over 25% after scientific publications, while provaccine Tweets increased by 16.6%. Regression models suggest verification status and number of followers were the strongest predictors of Twitter engagement. Findings indicate that scientific publications might affect what people public health information people share online, and how people engage with online content. In a time when false information is easily spread online, this study suggests the need for continual scientific publication on "hot topics," and urges researchers to partner with influential individuals on social media to disseminate effective, evidence-based, and user-friendly public health information to the public.
    Keywords:  advocacy; audience/consumer analysis; consumer health; health literacy; health research; immunization; mass media; media advocacy; social marketing/health communication
  4. J Health Commun. 2020 Feb 02. 1-10
    Reifegerste D, Blech S, Dechant P.
      A significant proportion of online health information seeking is related to the health of others, such as the one of family members and friends, instead of an individual's own health. Understanding these behaviors of proxy seekers, i.e., individuals who seek information about the health of others, can improve the transmission of health information to and social support for others. The comprehensive model of information seeking (CMIS) is an established model that predicts information seeking for the individual seeker. The model was modified and extended with concepts of social network ties to predict proxy information seeking intentions and the resulting social support intentions. Hypothetical scenarios of persons from the social network suffering from depression were varied in severity of disease and the relationship closeness to test their influence on model variables. Structural equation modeling (N = 607) served to evaluate the associations between the health-related factors and proxy health information seeking intentions, as well as support intentions. The results confirmed the direct effects of beliefs on information-carrier utility. Contrary to expectations, demographics, experience, and salience had direct effects on proxy information seeking intentions. The results indicate that a modified CMIS helps to better meet surrogate seekers' needs for supporting patients.
  5. Front Med (Lausanne). 2019 ;6 296
    Neunez M, Goldman M, Ghezzi P.
      Probiotics are over-the-counter products marketed for enhancing human health. Online information has been key in promoting probiotics worldwide. However, only few rigorous clinical studies have met the stringent criteria required to establish the efficacy and safety of probiotics. The present study was undertaken to assess the information quality of webpages referring to probiotics and to compare the recommendations available online with the information collected from trusted scientific sources. We evaluated 150 webpages returned by Google searching "probiotics" in terms of typology of website, health information quality based on the JAMA score and the HONcode certification, as well as completeness of the information based on the presence of four criteria: (1) links to scientific references supporting health claims, (2) cautionary notes about level of evidence for alleged benefits, (3) safety considerations, and (4) regulatory status. We then enumerated the health claims mentioned online and the corresponding clinical trials and reviews registered in the Cochrane library. Finally, the conclusions of Cochrane reviews were used to assess the level of scientific evidence of the information available through Google search. HON-certified websites were significantly more frequent in the top 10 websites than in the remaining websites. In terms of completeness of information, only 10% of webpages met all four criteria, 40% had a cautionary note on benefits, 35% referred to scientific literature, and only 25% mentioned potential side effects. The results of the content analysis led us to conclude that: (1) the most frequent typologies of webpages returned by Google are commercial and news, (2) commercial websites on average provide the least reliable information, and (3) significant numbers of claimed benefits of probiotics are not supported by scientific evidence. This study highlights important biases in the probiotics information available online, underlining the need to improve the quality and objectivity of information provided to the public.
    Keywords:  evidence-based medicine; health claims; health information; online; probiotics; regulatory; safety
  6. Arch Dermatol Res. 2020 Feb 04.
    Mazmudar RS, Sheth A, Tripathi R, Scott JF.
      Decreased health literacy is associated with worse outcomes for a variety of dermatologic conditions. Hispanic adults have the lowest average health literacy of any racial or ethnic group in the United Sates. Although patients are increasingly using online patient education materials (PEMs) for dermatologic care, limited information exists regarding the readability of these resources. The objective of this study is to evaluate the readability of online Spanish language PEMs in dermatology. Online Spanish language PEMs relevant to dermatology were gathered from the United States National Library of Medicine (USNLM) MedlinePlus health library and top Google, Yahoo, and Bing search results for "Spanish patient education dermatology." Spanish text was analyzed for readability using two validated programs: Spanish Lexile Analyzer and Índice Flesch-Szigriszt (INFLESZ). Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to examine the association between the two readability measures. ANOVA without post hoc correction was performed to determine variability between PEMs. A total of 254 Spanish language PEMs were collected and analyzed from nine online sources. The average article length was 601 words. The average Lexile measure was 1005 L (SD = 144 L) and the average INFLESZ score was 64.60 (SD = 7.53). Readability scores equated to an 8-10th grade reading level and was varied based on the source of information (p < 0.001). Online Spanish language PEMs related to dermatology are generally written at a reading level that exceeds national recommendations and may reduce comprehension for Hispanic patients. Targeted initiatives to address and improve online health information for Spanish-speaking patients are warranted.
    Keywords:  Dermatology; Patient education; Readability; Spanish
  7. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jan 31. pii: E880. [Epub ahead of print]17(3):
    Bujnowska-Fedak MM, Węgierek P.
      The number of Internet users searching for health-related issues increases significantly every year. The aim of this study was to investigate whether and how the information about health and disease obtained from the Internet by patients influenced them and how different e-health services can affect the patients' choice of the doctor. The research was based on a national survey conducted among 1000 Polish adults. The study was carried out with the use of the computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI). The study showed that e-health facilities are increasingly affecting the patient's choice of doctor. Among the highest rated factors, the possibility of setting the date of appointment online and practice's own website were indicated. Information on health and disease obtained from the Internet influenced respondents in many areas. Almost half of health Internet users (HI-users) wanted to change their diet and increase healthy physical activity under the influence of health information obtained online. Regarding health decision making, health information obtained from the Internet caused 45% of HI-users to make an appointment to see a doctor, and 40% of them had questions concerning diagnosis and treatment. Information on health and disease obtained from the Internet undoubtedly affects patient behaviour and health decisions they make.
    Keywords:  e-health services; health Internet user; health behaviour; health decisions; impact of the Internet; online health information; patient expectations; patient needs
  8. J Geod. 2018 Oct 30. 93(11): 2211-2225
    Noll CE, Ricklefs R, Horvath J, Mueller H, Schwatke C, Torrence M.
      The International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) through its permanent components (Tracking Stations, Operations Centers, Data Centers, Analysis Centers, Central Bureau, and Governing Board) distributes satellite and lunar laser ranging data and derived products to support global, multidisciplinary scientific research. The ILRS Data Centers and Central Bureau serve as the primary source for information, data, and products for this global user community. The ILRS website,, is a key tool for communication for the service, providing background information on the ILRS, its organization and operation, and detailed descriptions of ILRS components, data, and products. Links are provided to extensive information on the supported satellite missions and ILRS network stations including performance assessments and data quality evaluations. Furthermore, the website connects users to archives of laser ranging data and derived products available through the data centers. In this paper, we discuss the development of the ILRS infrastructure, its current status, website resources, description of laser ranging data and products, and plans for future enhancements.
    Keywords:  Earth orientation parameters; GGOS; IAG; ILRS; Laser ranging; Precise orbit determination; Reference frames; Space geodesy; Tracking networks
  9. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2019 Dec 06. pii: S1462-3889(19)30168-1. [Epub ahead of print]44 101700
    Sheridan A, Kemple M, Hyde A, Fox P, Furlong E, Coughlan B, Bell M, Naughton C, Carberry S, Drennan J.
      PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore the reasons for non-use of a national cancer society's cancer information services among people experiencing cancer.METHOD: This study used a qualitative design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a total of 17 participants who had not previously utilised the Cancer Society's information services. Data were analysed using Thematic Analysis.
    RESULTS: The key themes to emerge from the date were 'living in the here and now' and 'awareness of the Cancer Society'. For most participants, not utilising cancer information services was a means of coping with the initial diagnosis and the impact of treatment. Those who progressed to being ready to seek information identified the multi-disciplinary team as the primary source of trusted information, with particular mention of cancer nurse specialists. For participants with children, their role as a parent was central in how they managed their diagnosis. The majority of participants lacked awareness of the range of services provided by the Cancer Society.
    CONCLUSIONS: Reasons for non-use of cancer information services were identified as: readiness to seek information and a lack of knowledge of the Cancer Societies' services. Cancer information services need to continue make a concerted effort to enhance visibility and awareness of its services to optimise patient engagement.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Cancer information services; Information avoidance; Information seeking; Patient-centred care; Qualitative study
  10. J Acoust Soc Am. 2020 Jan;147(1): EL1
    Lou H, Ou D.
      A laboratory experiment was conducted to study the effects of speech intelligibility on English scientific literature reading performance in Chinese open-plan offices (both the occupants' native language and ambient speech noise were Chinese). The objective performance and subject perceptions of 20 participants were tested under different speech intelligibility conditions. The results highlight the significant negative impact of speech noise on occupants' performance. Moreover, a comparison of these results and those of previous studies implies Chinese occupants engaged in English scientific literature reading tasks are more sensitive to the changes of speech intelligibility and have higher requirements for acoustic environment.
  11. Am J Otolaryngol. 2020 Jan 07. pii: S0196-0709(19)31216-5. [Epub ahead of print] 102395
    Shetty KR, Wong K, Hashemi S, Shetty A, Levi JR.
      OBJECTIVES: Evaluate the authorship, content, quality, and readability of information on Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) available to patients online.METHODS: The technical search term "TORS Surgery" and layperson's term "robotic surgery of the mouth" were utilized to conduct a search of the top 50 websites on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Websites were evaluated according to the HONcode evaluation of content and quality, and readability was assessed using the Flesch Reading Ease Formula, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Formula, SMOG readability formula, Coleman Liau Index formula, and Gunning Fog Index. Statistical analysis was conducted using the Fisher Freeman- Halton test to compare differences in authorship, quality, and content between the three search engines and the Fisher exact test was used to determine if there was a difference in these variables between the two search terms.
    RESULTS: Overall, websites were predominantly from academic institutions with 97% mentioning benefits of TORS with 24% mentioning risks. 45% of TORS websites had no description of the TORS procedure, while 62% allowed individuals to make appointments. There was a significant difference in authorship with the layperson's terms yielding more news sources, but there were no significant differences in quality and content of information elicited through the technical and layperson search terms. The mean readability scores were Flesch Kincaid Grade Level 13.81(±3.32), Gunning-Fog Index 16.51(±3.39), SMOG 12.53(±2.40), and Automated Readability Index 14.05 (±4.17).
    CONCLUSIONS: Current online information on TORS surgery may not provide balanced information for patients to make informed healthcare decisions. The current readability of online information regarding TORS far exceeds the average literacy level of average American adults.
    Keywords:  Online health information; Patient education material; Readability; Robotic surgery; Transoral robotic surgery
  12. J Med Internet Res. 2020 Jan 24. 22(1): e14725
    Chen T, Gentry S, Qiu D, Deng Y, Notley C, Cheng G, Song F.
      BACKGROUND: Online information on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may influence people's perception and use of e-cigarettes. Websites with information on e-cigarettes in the Chinese language have not been systematically assessed.OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess and compare the types and credibility of Web-based information on e-cigarettes identified from Google (in English) and Baidu (in Chinese) search engines.
    METHODS: We used the keywords vaping or e-cigarettes to conduct a search on Google and the equivalent Chinese characters for Baidu. The first 50 unique and relevant websites from each of the two search engines were included in this analysis. The main characteristics of the websites, credibility of the websites, and claims made on the included websites were systematically assessed and compared.
    RESULTS: Compared with websites on Google, more websites on Baidu were owned by manufacturers or retailers (15/50, 30% vs 33/50, 66%; P<.001). None of the Baidu websites, compared to 24% (12/50) of Google websites, were provided by public or health professional institutions. The Baidu websites were more likely to contain e-cigarette advertising (P<.001) and less likely to provide information on health education (P<.001). The overall credibility of the included Baidu websites was lower than that of the Google websites (P<.001). An age restriction warning was shown on all advertising websites from Google (15/15) but only on 10 of the 33 (30%) advertising websites from Baidu (P<.001). Conflicting or unclear health and social claims were common on the included websites.
    CONCLUSIONS: Although conflicting or unclear claims on e-cigarettes were common on websites from both Baidu and Google search engines, there was a lack of online information from public health authorities in China. Unbiased information and evidence-based recommendations on e-cigarettes should be provided by public health authorities to help the public make informed decisions regarding the use of e-cigarettes.
    Keywords:  electronic cigarette; electronic nicotine delivery system; internet-based information; online health information
  13. Reprod Biomed Soc Online. 2019 Dec;9 48-63
    Kedzior SGE, Bianco-Miotto T, Breen J, Diener KR, Donnelley M, Dunning KR, Penno MAS, Schjenken JE, Sharkey DJ, Hodyl NA, Fullston T, Gardiner M, Brown HM, Rumbold AR.
      This study examined the nature and accuracy of information available across online platforms for couples trying to conceive. A consumer simulation-based investigation of English websites and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) was undertaken using common search terms identified in a pilot study. Claims about fertility and pregnancy health were then extracted from the results and analysed thematically. The accuracy of each claim was assessed independently by six fertility and conception experts, rated on a scale of 1 (not factual) to 4 (highly factual), with scores collated to produce a median rating. Claims with a median score < 3 were classified as inaccurate. The use of the terms 'trying to conceive' and '#TTC' were common identifiers on online platforms. Claims were extracted predominantly from websites (n = 89) rather than social media, with Twitter and Instagram comprising commercial elements and Facebook focused on community-based support. Thematic analysis revealed three major themes among the claims across all platforms: conception behaviour and monitoring, lifestyle and exposures, and medical. Fact-checking by the experts revealed that 40% of the information assessed was inaccurate, and that inaccuracies were more likely to be present in the conception behaviour and monitoring advice, the topics most amenable to modification. Since online information is a readily accessible and commonly utilized resource, there is opportunity for improved dissemination of evidence-based material to reach interested couples. Further cross-disciplinary and consumer-based research, such as a user survey, is required to understand how best to provide the 'trying to conceive' community with accurate information.
    Keywords:  accuracy; conception; fertility; internet; social media
  14. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 04. pii: E954. [Epub ahead of print]17(3):
    Kamiński M, Łoniewski I, Marlicz W.
      We aimed to rank the most common locations of pain among Google users globally and locally and analyze secular and seasonal trends in pain-related searches in the years 2004-2019. We used data generated by Google Trends (GT) to identify and analyze global interest in topics (n = 24) related to locations of pain and how these progressed over time. We analyzed secular trends and time series decomposition to identify seasonal variations. We also calculated the interest in all topics with reference to the relative search volume (RSV) of "Abdominal pain". Google users were most commonly interested in "Headache" (1.30 [times more frequently than "Abdominal pain"]), "Abdominal pain" (1.00), and "Back pain" (0.84). "Headache" was the most frequent search term in n = 41 countries, while "Abdominal pain" was the most frequent term in n = 27 countries. The interest in all pain-related topics except "Dyspareunia" increased over time. The sharpest increase was observed for "Abdominal pain" (5.67 RSV/year), and "Toothache" (5.52 RSV/year). Most of the topics revealed seasonal variations. Among pain-related topics, "Headache," "Abdominal pain," and "Back pain" interested most Google users. GT is a novel tool that allows retrospective investigation of complaints among Internet users.
    Keywords:  Abdominal pain; Google Trends; Internet; back pain; headache; knee pain; location; pain; ranking; toothache