bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2020‒08‒09
eleven papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Patient Educ Couns. 2020 May 05. pii: S0738-3991(20)30235-4. [Epub ahead of print]
    Keast R, Butow PN, Juraskova I, Laidsaar-Powell R.
      OBJECTIVE: Most patients want their family involved in consultations and decisions, however some family caregivers report feeling overwhelmed and unsure of their role. As caregivers are increasingly looking to medical websites for guidance, this study aimed to review reputable web-resources available to inform family caregivers on how to be involved in medical consultations and decisions.METHODS: Google searches were performed using lay search strings, to imitate how a cancer caregiver may locate information. Relevant webpages were included if they were directed at caregivers and from a reputable health organisation. Qualitative content analyses were performed on the included webpages.
    RESULTS: 22 webpages were included and 8 were directed at caregivers of cancer patients. Six key categories of information were identified: preparing for consultations, helping during consultations, advocating for the patient, decision-making, communicating in hospital settings, and communicating with family and friends.
    CONCLUSION: A range of online resources were found to guide family caregivers, particularly cancer caregivers, on involvement in consultations. However, few provided information to caregivers on complex situations such as treatment decision-making, advocating for patient's needs, and communicating in a hospital setting.
    PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Clinicians can actively refer family caregivers to online resources that support caregiver communication in medical settings.
    Keywords:  Clinician–patient–family communication; Decision-making; Family caregiver; Medical consultations; Online communication resources
  2. Health Commun. 2020 Aug 06. 1-9
    Walter N, Brooks JJ, Saucier CJ, Suresh S.
      Social media poses a threat to public health by facilitating the spread of misinformation. At the same time, however, social media offers a promising avenue to stem the distribution of false claims - as evidenced by real-time corrections, crowdsourced fact-checking, and algorithmic tagging. Despite the growing attempts to correct misinformation on social media, there is still considerable ambiguity regarding the ability to effectively ameliorate the negative impact of false messages. To address this gap, the current study uses a meta-analysis to evaluate the relative impact of social media interventions designed to correct health-related misinformation (k = 24; N = 6,086). Additionally, the meta-analysis introduces theory-driven moderators that help delineate the effectiveness of social media interventions. The mean effect size of attempts to correct misinformation on social media was positive and significant (d = 0.40, 95% CI [0.25, 0.55], p =.0005) and a publication bias could not be excluded. Interventions were more effective in cases where participants were involved with the health topic, as well as when misinformation was distributed by news organizations (vs. peers) and debunked by experts (vs. non-experts). The findings of this meta-analysis can be used not only to depict the current state of the literature but also to prescribe specific recommendations to better address the proliferation of health misinformation on social media.
  3. J Med Internet Res. 2020 Aug 03. 22(8): e19018
    Ferrand J, Hockensmith R, Houghton RF, Walsh-Buhi ER.
      BACKGROUND: Almost half (46%) of Americans have used a smart assistant of some kind (eg, Apple Siri), and 25% have used a stand-alone smart assistant (eg, Amazon Echo). This positions smart assistants as potentially useful modalities for retrieving health-related information; however, the accuracy of smart assistant responses lacks rigorous evaluation.OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the levels of accuracy, misinformation, and sentiment in smart assistant responses to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination-related questions.
    METHODS: We systematically examined responses to questions about the HPV vaccine from the following four most popular smart assistants: Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft Cortana. One team member posed 10 questions to each smart assistant and recorded all queries and responses. Two raters independently coded all responses (κ=0.85). We then assessed differences among the smart assistants in terms of response accuracy, presence of misinformation, and sentiment regarding the HPV vaccine.
    RESULTS: A total of 103 responses were obtained from the 10 questions posed across the smart assistants. Google Assistant data were excluded owing to nonresponse. Over half (n=63, 61%) of the responses of the remaining three smart assistants were accurate. We found statistically significant differences across the smart assistants (N=103, χ22=7.807, P=.02), with Cortana yielding the greatest proportion of misinformation. Siri yielded the greatest proportion of accurate responses (n=26, 72%), whereas Cortana yielded the lowest proportion of accurate responses (n=33, 54%). Most response sentiments across smart assistants were positive (n=65, 64%) or neutral (n=18, 18%), but Cortana's responses yielded the largest proportion of negative sentiment (n=7, 12%).
    CONCLUSIONS: Smart assistants appear to be average-quality sources for HPV vaccination information, with Alexa responding most reliably. Cortana returned the largest proportion of inaccurate responses, the most misinformation, and the greatest proportion of results with negative sentiments. More collaboration between technology companies and public health entities is necessary to improve the retrieval of accurate health information via smart assistants.
    Keywords:  chatbots; conversational agents; digital health; human papillomavirus; infodemiology; misinformation; smart assistants; vaccination
  4. Heliyon. 2020 Jul;6(7): e04426
    Spitale G.
      Scientific publications have become the currency of Academia, hence the concept of 'publish or perish'. But there are consequences: the amount of existing literature and its proliferation rate have reached the point where keeping pace is just impossible. If this is true in general, it becomes a huge issue in interdisciplinary fields such as bioethics where knowing the state of the art in more than one single discipline is a concrete necessity. If we accept the idea of building new science on an exhaustive comprehension of existing knowledge, a radical change is needed. Smart iterative search strategies, frequency analysis and text mining, techniques described in this paper, can't be a long run solution. But they might serve as a useful coping strategy.
    Keywords:  Content analysis; Data mining; Information extraction; Information management; Information science; Information systems management; Information technology; Knowledge representation; Publications' proliferation; Search strategies; Text mining; Topic tracking
  5. J Biomed Semantics. 2020 Aug 06. 11(1): 7
    Grabar N, Dalloux C, Claveau V.
      BACKGROUND: Textual corpora are extremely important for various NLP applications as they provide information necessary for creating, setting and testing those applications and the corresponding tools. They are also crucial for designing reliable methods and reproducible results. Yet, in some areas, such as the medical area, due to confidentiality or to ethical reasons, it is complicated or even impossible to access representative textual data. We propose the CAS corpus built with clinical cases, such as they are reported in the published scientific literature in French.RESULTS: Currently, the corpus contains 4,900 clinical cases in French, totaling nearly 1.7M word occurrences. Some clinical cases are associated with discussions. A subset of the whole set of cases is enriched with morpho-syntactic (PoS-tagging, lemmatization) and semantic (the UMLS concepts, negation, uncertainty) annotations. The corpus is being continuously enriched with new clinical cases and annotations. The CAS corpus has been compared with similar clinical narratives. When computed on tokenized and lowercase words, the Jaccard index indicates that the similarity between clinical cases and narratives reaches up to 0.9727.
    CONCLUSION: We assume that the CAS corpus can be effectively exploited for the development and testing of NLP tools and methods. Besides, the corpus will be used in NLP challenges and distributed to the research community.
    Keywords:  Corpus with clinical cases; Medical area; Morpho-syntactic and semantic annotation; Natural language processing; Reproducibility; Sustainability
  6. J Med Internet Res. 2020 Aug 03.
    Rovetta A, Bhagavathula AS.
      BACKGROUND: Though 'infodemiological' methods have been used in COVID-19 research, an examination of the extent of infodemic monikers (misinformation) use on the Internet remains limited.OBJECTIVE: To investigate Internet search behavior related to COVID-19 and examine the circulation of infodemic monikers through two platforms-Google and Instagram-during the current global pandemic.
    METHODS: Using Google Trends and Instagram hashtags (#), we explored Internet search activities and behaviors related to the COVID-19 pandemic from February 20, 2020, to May 06, 2020. We investigated the names used to identify the virus, health and risk perception, life during the lockdown, and information related to the adoption of COVID-19 infodemic monikers. We computed the average peak volume (APC) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) during the study period for the monikers.
    RESULTS: The top six COVID-19-related terms in the Google searches were "coronavirus", "corona", "COVID", "virus", "corona virus", and "COVID-19". Countries with a higher number of COVID-19 cases had a higher number of COVID-19 queries on Google. The monikers "coronavirus ozone", "coronavirus laboratory", "coronavirus 5G", "coronavirus conspiracy" and "coronavirus bill gates" were widely circulated on the Internet. Searches about 'tips and cures' for COVID-19 spiked in relation to the U.S. president speculating about a 'miracle cure' and suggesting the injection of disinfectant to treat the virus. Around two-thirds (66.1%) of Instagram users used the hashtags "COVID-19", and "coronavirus" to disperse virus-related information.
    CONCLUSIONS: Globally, there is a growing interest in COVID-19, and numerous infodemic monikers continue to circulate on the Internet. Based on our findings, we hope to encourage mass media regulators and health organizers to be vigilant and diminish the use and circulation of these infodemic monikers on the Internet, to decrease the spread of misinformation.
  7. Database (Oxford). 2020 Jan 01. pii: baaa062. [Epub ahead of print]2020
    Schoch CL, Ciufo S, Domrachev M, Hotton CL, Kannan S, Khovanskaya R, Leipe D, Mcveigh R, O'Neill K, Robbertse B, Sharma S, Soussov V, Sullivan JP, Sun L, Turner S, Karsch-Mizrachi I.
      The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Taxonomy includes organism names and classifications for every sequence in the nucleotide and protein sequence databases of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration. Since the last review of this resource in 2012, it has undergone several improvements. Most notable is the shift from a single SQL database to a series of linked databases tied to a framework of data called NameBank. This means that relations among data elements can be adjusted in more detail, resulting in expanded annotation of synonyms, the ability to flag names with specific nomenclatural properties, enhanced tracking of publications tied to names and improved annotation of scientific authorities and types. Additionally, practices utilized by NCBI Taxonomy curators specific to major taxonomic groups are described, terms peculiar to NCBI Taxonomy are explained, external resources are acknowledged and updates to tools and other resources are documented. Database URL:
  8. Database (Oxford). 2020 Jan 01. pii: baaa056. [Epub ahead of print]2020
    Holtzapple E, Telmer CA, Miskov-Zivanov N.
      State-of-the-art machine reading methods extract, in hours, hundreds of thousands of events from the biomedical literature. However, many of the extracted biomolecular interactions are incorrect or not relevant for computational modeling of a system of interest. Therefore, rapid, automated methods are required to filter and select accurate and useful information. The FiLter for Understanding True Events (FLUTE) tool uses public protein interaction databases to filter interactions that have been extracted by machines from databases such as PubMed and score them for accuracy. Confidence in the interactions allows for rapid and accurate model assembly. As our results show, FLUTE can reliably determine the confidence in the biomolecular interactions extracted by fast machine readers and at the same time provide a speedup in interaction filtering by three orders of magnitude. Database URL:
  9. J Educ Health Promot. 2020 ;9 144
    Ghalavand H, Panahi S, Sedghi S.
      INTRODUCTION: Social media is becoming a new tool for developing health knowledge management. However, despite the rapid growth of research in this area, few attempts have been made to review previous research. This study tried to summarize the opportunities and challenges of using social media to managing health knowledge.METHODOLOGY: This article used a narrative approach to collect and review studies. In this review, published documents during 2010-2019 were retrieved by search in the following three electronic scientific databases: Web of Knowledge, PubMed, and Google Scholar search engine using keywords including social media, public health, health knowledge, knowledge management, and health promotion.
    RESULTS: Social media by overcoming geographical barriers, developing health promotion, facilitating decision-making, and providing public health education has been able to enhancing health awareness and improving health behavior. Doctors' unwillingness to interact with the public, lack of compliance with the principles of medical ethics, users' privacy concerns, and difficulty of managing negative comments are the four challenges to health knowledge management in social media.
    CONCLUSION: Social media can be a suitable tool for developing health knowledge management processes if medical professional ethics and users' privacy managed properly.
    Keywords:  Health communication; health knowledge; health promotion; knowledge management; public health; social media; technology
  10. J Pediatr Urol. 2020 Jul 18. pii: S1477-5131(20)30424-1. [Epub ahead of print]
    Whitley JA, Kieran K.
      INTRODUCTION: Monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis (MNE) is one of the most common reasons for referral to pediatric urologists. Prior to subspecialist visits, many parents seek electronically available information online to gather information about this condition and potential treatment options. Previous publications suggest that electronically available information on medical conditions do not always align with evidence-based or expert recommendations. We wondered if the same was true for MNE.OBJECTIVE: To describe the content and accessibility of electronically available information on MNE, and its alignment with recommendations from the International Children's Continence Society (ICCS-MNE).
    STUDY DESIGN: We simulated a layperson's electronic search using 10 pertinent search terms associated with bedwetting. We evaluated the first five pages (50 results) for each search. We evaluated all publicly-available (non-paywalled) sites for concordance with ICCS-MNE in eight domains (increasing fluid intake, limiting bladder irritants, optimizing bowel habits, utilizing timed voiding, pelvic floor relaxation, endorsing alarm use, avoiding medications as standard first-line therapies, and pediatrician referral), as well as statements discouraging blaming or punishing the child. Sites were classified as layperson-derived (blogs, communities/forums) or commercially-derived (medical institutions, commercial medical sites, corporations, government). Reading level was assessed by (compound scoring algorithms).
    RESULTS: Of 500 pages, 410 (82%) met inclusion criteria. Of these, 49.3% were layperson-derived and 47.8% were commercially-derived. Publication year ranged from 1999 to 2017. A median three (range 0-8) therapeutic domains were mentioned per site. Only one site discussed all eight therapeutic domains. Commercial sites discussed more ICCS-MNE domains than blogs and communities/forums (median 4.1 vs. 2.4, p < 0.0001; Figure). Blogs and forums were less likely to recommend subspecialist evaluation (53.0% vs. 81.1%, p < 0.0001), but more likely to recommend alternative medicine therapies (57.9% vs. 28.6%, p < 0.0001). The overall median readability grade level was lower for blogs/communities than for commercial sites (7.9 vs. 8.6, p < 0.0001).
    DISCUSSION: Our findings show that the vast majority of electronically available information on MNE is not congruent with or does not include all ICCS-MNE recommendations. About half of websites are blogs and forums; these not only are more likely to recommend alternative medicine therapies and less likely to recommend subspecialist evaluation, but have lower reading levels and thus may be accessible to more laypersons.
    CONCLUSION: Neither commercially-derived nor layperson-derived websites are comprehensive with regard to ICCS-MNE recommendations. Our findings underscore the need to ensure that electronically published data are accurate, and to understand what data patients may have acquired before visiting with clinicians.
    Keywords:  Bedwetting; Education; Enuresis; Internet; Literacy
  11. IEEE/ACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinform. 2020 Jun 01. PP
    Bernasconi A, Canakoglu A, Masseroli M, Ceri S.
      The integration of genomic metadata is, at the same time, an important, difficult, and well-recognized challenge. It is important because a wealth of public data repositories is available to drive biological and clinical research; combining information from various heterogeneous and widely dispersed sources is paramount to a number of biological discoveries. It is difficult because the domain is complex and there is no agreement among the various metadata definitions, which refer to different vocabularies and ontologies. It is well-recognized in the bioinformatics community because, in the common practice, repositories are accessed one-by-one, learning their specific metadata definitions as result of long and tedious efforts, and such practice is error-prone. In this paper, we describe META-BASE, an architecture for integrating metadata extracted from a variety of genomic data sources, based upon a structured transformation process. We present a variety of innovative techniques for data extraction, cleaning, normalization and enrichment. We propose a general, open and extensible pipeline that can easily incorporate any number of new data sources, and propose the resulting repository - already integrating several important sources - which is exposed by means of practical user interfaces to respond biological researchers' needs.