bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2020‒11‒22
ten papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Health Info Libr J. 2020 Nov 16.
      BACKGROUND: Timely information provided by clinical librarians can contribute to outcomes such as improved patient care and time savings for hospital staff. What is unknown is the return on investment (ROI) of a clinical librarian on a critical care unit.OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the ROI, from the employer perspective, of placing a clinical librarian in a critical care unit in a large UK acute hospital.
    METHODS: Using a mixed methods approach, ROI was estimated by comparing the total costs with the total monetised benefits of implementing the clinical librarian intervention. Total costs included salary and equipment costs. Total monetised benefits included time saving for hospital staff, support for professional development and improved patient care.
    RESULTS: When total monetised benefits were compared with total costs, the 15-month clinical librarian intervention generated a positive ROI of £1.18-£3.03 for every £1 invested.
    DISCUSSION: Using outcome measures derived from previous research, this novel study generated promising results indicative for commissioners seeking to improve patient care and deliver value for money. To improve generalisability, multisite studies using standardised ROI tools are recommended.
    CONCLUSION: Employing a clinical librarian in a critical care unit can generate a positive ROI.
    Keywords:  National Health Service(NHS); consultants; costs and cost analysis; evidence-based practice; information services; knowledge transfer; knowledge translation; librarians, clinical; library and information professionals; nurses
  2. J Med Internet Res. 2020 Oct 24.
      BACKGROUND: Since it was declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has dominated headlines around the world and generated thousands of scientific articles. The fast speed of publication has challenged researchers and other stakeholders to keep up with the volume of published articles. To search for the literature effectively, researchers use databases such as PubMed.OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the performance of different searches for COVID-19 records in PubMed and to assess the complexity of searches that was required.
    METHODS: We tested PubMed searches for COVID-19 to identify which search string performed best according to standard metrics (sensitivity, precision and F-score). We evaluated the performance of eight different searches in PubMed during the first ten weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic to investigate how complex a search string is needed. We also tested omitting hyphens and space characters as well as applying quotation marks.
    RESULTS: The two most comprehensive search strings performed best, but the single-term search, COVID-19, performed well in terms of sensitivity (98.4/98.7 vs 94.4), precision (94.6/92.7 vs 95.3), and F-score (96.5/95.7 vs 94.8). We found that deleting a hyphen or space character could omit a substantial number of records. If entered correctly, a single-term search performed well although the number of relevant records would be increased by using a comprehensive search.
    CONCLUSIONS: Comprehensive search strings performed better than single term searches in PubMed, but not by a large margin for some single terms. For everyday searches, certain single term searches are probably sufficient whereas more comprehensive searches should be used for systematic reviews. Still, we suggest additional measures that the U.S. National Library of Medicine could take to support all PubMed users in searching the COVID-19 literature.
  3. JAMIA Open. 2020 Oct;3(3): 332-337
      Objectives: Describe an augmented intelligence approach to facilitate the update of evidence for associations in knowledge graphs.Methods: New publications are filtered through multiple machine learning study classifiers, and filtered publications are combined with articles already included as evidence in the knowledge graph. The corpus is then subjected to named entity recognition, semantic dictionary mapping, term vector space modeling, pairwise similarity, and focal entity match to identify highly related publications. Subject matter experts review recommended articles to assess inclusion in the knowledge graph; discrepancies are resolved by consensus.
    Results: Study classifiers achieved F-scores from 0.88 to 0.94, and similarity thresholds for each study type were determined by experimentation. Our approach reduces human literature review load by 99%, and over the past 12 months, 41% of recommendations were accepted to update the knowledge graph.
    Conclusion: Integrated search and recommendation exploiting current evidence in a knowledge graph is useful for reducing human cognition load.
    Keywords:  artificial intelligence; machine learning; natural language processing; precision medicine
  4. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2020 Nov 16. pii: ocaa271. [Epub ahead of print]
      The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a tremendous need for access to the latest scientific information, leading to both corpora for COVID-19 literature and search engines to query such data. While most search engine research is performed in academia with rigorous evaluation, major commercial companies dominate the web search market. Thus, it is expected that commercial pandemic-specific search engines will gain much higher traction than academic alternatives, leading to questions about the empirical performance of these tools. This paper seeks to empirically evaluate two commercial search engines for COVID-19 (Google and Amazon) in comparison with academic prototypes evaluated in the TREC-COVID task. We performed several steps to reduce bias in the manual judgments to ensure a fair comparison of all systems. We find the commercial search engines sizably underperformed those evaluated under TREC-COVID. This has implications for trust in popular health search engines and developing biomedical search engines for future health crises.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; TREC-COVID; coronavirus; information retrieval
  5. J Educ Health Promot. 2020 ;9 248
      Due to the short span available for consultation with clinicians, patients try to become well versed with their clinical conditions before the medical consultation. They search Google for their medical information; here comes the problem of authenticity of the sources. It is very difficult to obtain authentic medical information for the patients from the Internet. As a result, sometimes, patients ask questions to the overburdened doctors and irritate them. To solve this problem and wider dissemination of authentic medical knowledge, the existing website of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has been utilized. In PGIMER, Chandigarh, health education materials in text and video formats have been uploaded on the PGIMER website for empowering patients. All these have been successfully tested in the outpatient departments of PGIMER, Chandigarh. To our knowledge, this unique approach is the first of its kind in India. We hope this approach of sharing medical information through the PGIMER website may help patient empowerment to a large extent. Later, this concept can be replicated in all medical colleges in India.
    Keywords:  Artificial intelligence; health education; medical institutions; website
  6. Int J Med Inform. 2020 Nov 01. pii: S1386-5056(20)30870-4. [Epub ahead of print]145 104321
      PURPOSE: Various interventions have been designed to help consumers better evaluate the credibility of online health information (OHI). However, assessing information credibility remained the most widely reported challenge by online health consumers. This review aims to provide an overview of major intervention approaches for improving consumer ability to evaluate OHI credibility in order to identify opportunities for future interventions.METHODS: A scoping review was performed. Seven relevant scientific databases were searched to identify articles that report the design and/or evaluation of interventions to support, facilitate, or assist consumers in assessing the credibility of OHI. Thirty-one articles met the inclusion criteria. Relevant content was extracted from the articles and all codes were validated by second coders.
    RESULTS: Three major intervention approaches for enhancing consumers' ability to evaluate OHI credibility were identified: educational program, algorithm, and interactive interface. The design of most interventions (particularly the credibility evaluation component) lacked the guidance of theories, and very few studies systematically evaluated their effectiveness in real online search contexts. Few interventions can provide spontaneous support to consumers while they search online.
    CONCLUSION: Our understanding of what theoretical constructs contribute to effective OHI credibility evaluation interventions and how intervention outcomes should be measured remained limited. Future efforts need to focus on the design, development, test, and evaluation of theory-guided OHI credibility evaluation interventions that are scalable, sustainable, and can provide real-time support to consumers.
    Keywords:  Consumer health informatics; Information credibility; Interventions; Online health information; Scoping review
  7. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Nov 19. pii: gkaa1024. [Epub ahead of print]
      WikiPathways ( is a biological pathway database known for its collaborative nature and open science approaches. With the core idea of the scientific community developing and curating biological knowledge in pathway models, WikiPathways lowers all barriers for accessing and using its content. Increasingly more content creators, initiatives, projects and tools have started using WikiPathways. Central in this growth and increased use of WikiPathways are the various communities that focus on particular subsets of molecular pathways such as for rare diseases and lipid metabolism. Knowledge from published pathway figures helps prioritize pathway development, using optical character and named entity recognition. We show the growth of WikiPathways over the last three years, highlight the new communities and collaborations of pathway authors and curators, and describe various technologies to connect to external resources and initiatives. The road toward a sustainable, community-driven pathway database goes through integration with other resources such as Wikidata and allowing more use, curation and redistribution of WikiPathways content.
  8. Health Commun. 2020 Nov 18. 1-12
      Latino populations are disproportionately impacted by health disparities and face both connectivity and health literacy challenges. As evidenced by the current global pandemic, access to reliable online health-related information and the ability to apply that information is critical to achieving health equity. Through a qualitative study on how Latino families collaborate to access online health resources, this work frames health literacy as a family-level mechanism. Interviews with parent-child dyads combined with online search tasks reveal how families integrate their individual skillsets to obtain, process, and understand online information about illnesses, symptoms, and even medical diagnoses. As they engage in intergenerational online health information searching and brokering, families creatively navigate information and communication technologies (ICTs) to address a range of health needs. Bilingual children help immigrant parents obtain urgent and non-urgent health information needed to care for other family members. When children are tasked with addressing a health need critical to their parent's wellbeing, they collaborate with their parents to obtain, interpret, and apply online health information. Intergenerational online health information searching and brokering thus reveals family-level strengths that can be leveraged to promote both health and digital literacy among marginalized populations.
  9. Spinal Cord. 2020 Nov 17.
      STUDY DESIGN: Observational study using data from the second community survey of the Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study (Survey 2017).OBJECTIVES: To examine information seeking of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) in Switzerland and its association with personal characteristics, quality of life, satisfaction with health, and healthcare services utilization.
    SETTING: Community.
    METHODS: Descriptive statistics were used to describe information needs, information sources, and health literacy of the participants. Linear, logistic, and Poisson regression analyses were used to assess the association of information-related variables with personal characteristics, quality of life, satisfaction with health, and healthcare services utilization.
    RESULTS: One quarter of the 1294 study participants (24.6%) reported having information needs. Most frequently mentioned were needs for medical information about SCI, complications and comorbidities (30.5%), and information on living with SCI (28.6%). The most often used sources of information were healthcare professionals (72.3%), the Internet (43.2%), and other people living with SCI (40.8%). Almost half of the participants (41.4%) were only somewhat or not at all confident in their ability to find information. Having information needs was associated with suboptimal outcomes.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms the importance of information for individuals living with SCI. By providing evidence on topics to be addressed and modalities of information delivery, our findings can help institutions in developing information to support individuals living with SCI in their daily activities. Information should cover all aspects of living with SCI, be relevant to and understandable for people of all backgrounds, and be made available online and offline.
  10. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2020 Nov 16.
      Although the readability of online materials has been thoroughly studied across different orthopaedic surgery disorders, inadequacy in information exists regarding the readability of the websites pertaining to femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). Given its high prevalence and the importance of providing appropriate online education materials in its prognosis, the primary aim of this study was to assess the readability of web-based patient education materials regarding this disease. "Femoroacetabular impingement," "FAI," and "hip impingement" were used as search queries in this study. Readability was evaluated based on five established algorithms, and the readability of contents was compared by website type and also search query. In this study of 59 unique websites on FAI, using five different validated readability formulas, we demonstrated that none of the top 30 webpages were written at the recommended reading level. They were found through three different search queries on the three most used search engines. Current FAI online education materials accessible to patients are written above the recommended levels, and it seems that to improve equity and accessibility in healthcare, universities, hospitals, and healthcare professional societies have a responsibility to ensure that the online materials are provided at more appropriate levels. Early detection and treatment of FAI play a key role in preventing the progression to hip osteoarthritis. Thus, providing appropriate online education materials is of great importance in this prevention by increasing patients' understanding of the disease and the advantages and disadvantages of the treatment options. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: Level III.