bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2021‒02‒07
fourteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(2): e0246098
      OBJECTIVE: Inadequate diversity in clinical trials is widely recognized as a significant contributing factor to health disparities experienced by racial/ethnic minorities and other diverse populations in the US. To address this in a scalable way, we sought to develop a web tool that could help enhance underserved minority participation in clinical research.METHODS: We used our research literacy support flashcard tool as the initial prototype for human-centered design and usability testing of the web tool Health for All in public library settings. After forming partnerships with leadership from Chicago Public Libraries (CPL), local medical libraries, and the Chicago Department of Public Health, we conducted seven iterative design sessions with focus groups of library patrons and library staff from six CPL branches serving underserved communities followed by two rounds of usability testing and website modification.
    RESULTS: Based on the qualitative research findings from Design Sessions 1-7, we enacted the design decision of a website that was a hybrid of fact-filled and vignette (personal stories) paper prototypes divided into 4 modules (trust, diversity, healthy volunteers, pros/cons), each with their own outcome metrics. The website was thus constructed, and navigation issues identified in two rounds of usability testing by library patrons were addressed through further website modification, followed by the launch of a beta version of a hybridized single-scrolling and guided module prototype to allow further development with website analytics.
    CONCLUSIONS: We report the development of Health for All, a website designed to enhance racial/ethnic minority participation in clinical trials by imparting research literacy, mitigating distrust engendered by longstanding racism and discrimination, and providing connections to clinical trials recruiting participants.
  2. Data Brief. 2021 Feb;34 106731
      The dataset includes search queries that can be used to identify scientific publications related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We propose a new approach to mitigate the polysemy of terms as much as possible by targeting the most relevant subject areas for each SDG. In addition, we also used a text-mining tool to identify as many relevant phrases as possible. Publications identified through this process cannot be considered as evidence of the commitment of authors and their institutions to actions towards the targets established by the UN. However, they can be an accurate indicator of which research is relevant to the issues addressed by the SDGs, whether or not it is a direct contribution.
    Keywords:  Bibliometrics; Information retrieval; Search queries; Sustainable development goals
  3. JMIR Res Protoc. 2021 Feb 02. 10(2): e22505
      BACKGROUND: Data stewardship is an essential driver of research and clinical practice. Data collection, storage, access, sharing, and analytics are dependent on the proper and consistent use of data management principles among the investigators. Since 2016, the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) guiding principles for research data management have been resonating in scientific communities. Enabling data to be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable is currently believed to strengthen data sharing, reduce duplicated efforts, and move toward harmonization of data from heterogeneous unconnected data silos. FAIR initiatives and implementation trends are rising in different facets of scientific domains. It is important to understand the concepts and implementation practices of the FAIR data principles as applied to human health data by studying the flourishing initiatives and implementation lessons relevant to improved health research, particularly for data sharing during the coronavirus pandemic.OBJECTIVE: This paper aims to conduct a scoping review to identify concepts, approaches, implementation experiences, and lessons learned in FAIR initiatives in the health data domain.
    METHODS: The Arksey and O'Malley stage-based methodological framework for scoping reviews will be used for this review. PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar will be searched to access relevant primary and grey publications. Articles written in English and published from 2014 onwards with FAIR principle concepts or practices in the health domain will be included. Duplication among the 3 data sources will be removed using a reference management software. The articles will then be exported to a systematic review management software. At least two independent authors will review the eligibility of each article based on defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. A pretested charting tool will be used to extract relevant information from the full-text papers. Qualitative thematic synthesis analysis methods will be employed by coding and developing themes. Themes will be derived from the research questions and contents in the included papers.
    RESULTS: The results will be reported using the PRISMA-ScR (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews) reporting guidelines. We anticipate finalizing the manuscript for this work in 2021.
    CONCLUSIONS: We believe comprehensive information about the FAIR data principles, initiatives, implementation practices, and lessons learned in the FAIRification process in the health domain is paramount to supporting both evidence-based clinical practice and research transparency in the era of big data and open research publishing.
    Keywords:  FAIR data principles; PRISMA; data stewardship; health research; scoping review
  4. Acta Biomed. 2020 11 27. 91(4): e2020199
      BACKGROUND AND AIM: Letter to Editor, report the amount of literature generated over two weeks on related to COVID-19 Methods: reporting the daily number of "hits" from "COVID-19" search on Results: There were 66988 entries on on the search word "COVID-19" on October 24, 2020. The average daily increase in number of entries was 335.CONCLUSIONS: point out the fact that the literature volume is increasing in an exponential manner (
  5. Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Feb 03. pii: 156. [Epub ahead of print]9(2):
      Misinformation such as on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) drugs, vaccination or presentation of its treatment from untrusted sources have shown dramatic consequences on public health. Authorities have deployed several surveillance tools to detect and slow down the rapid misinformation spread online. Large quantities of unverified information are available online and at present there is no real-time tool available to alert a user about false information during online health inquiries over a web search engine. To bridge this gap, we propose a web search engine misinformation notifier extension (SEMiNExt). Natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithm have been successfully integrated into the extension. This enables SEMiNExt to read the user query from the search bar, classify the veracity of the query and notify the authenticity of the query to the user, all in real-time to prevent the spread of misinformation. Our results show that SEMiNExt under artificial neural network (ANN) works best with an accuracy of 93%, F1-score of 92%, precision of 92% and a recall of 93% when 80% of the data is trained. Moreover, ANN is able to predict with a very high accuracy even for a small training data size. This is very important for an early detection of new misinformation from a small data sample available online that can significantly reduce the spread of misinformation and maximize public health safety. The SEMiNExt approach has introduced the possibility to improve online health management system by showing misinformation notifications in real-time, enabling safer web-based searching on health-related issues.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; artificial neural network; machine learning; natural language processing; notifier extension; public health misinformation; web search engine
  6. Online Soc Netw Media. 2021 Mar;22 100123
      There is an abundance of misinformation, disinformation, and "fake news" related to COVID-19, leading the director-general of the World Health Organization to term this an 'infodemic'. Given the high volume of COVID-19 content on the Internet, many find it difficult to evaluate veracity. Vulnerable and marginalized groups are being misinformed and subject to high levels of stress. Riots and panic buying have also taken place due to "fake news". However, individual research-led websites can make a major difference in terms of providing accurate information. For example, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center website has over 81 million entries linked to it on Google. With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the knowledge that deceptive news has the potential to measurably affect the beliefs of the public, new strategies are needed to prevent the spread of misinformation. This study seeks to make a timely intervention to the information landscape through a COVID-19 "fake news", misinformation, and disinformation website. In this article, we introduce CoVerifi, a web application which combines both the power of machine learning and the power of human feedback to assess the credibility of news. By allowing users the ability to "vote" on news content, the CoVerifi platform will allow us to release labelled data as open source, which will enable further research on preventing the spread of COVID-19-related misinformation. We discuss the development of CoVerifi and the potential utility of deploying the system at scale for combating the COVID-19 "infodemic".
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Infodemic; Machine learning; Media diet; Misinformation
  7. J Craniofac Surg. 2021 Jan 28.
      OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the content and quality of YouTube videos about distraction osteogenesis (DO) in the craniofacial region.METHODS: The term "distraction osteogenesis" was searched on YouTube. After sorting by relevance, 80 videos were selected from 128 search results for analysis of general characteristics, primary purpose, information reliability, audiovisual quality, global quality scale (GQS), and viewers' interaction index. Viewing rate formulae were calculated for each YouTube video. The Mann-Whitney U test and Spearman correlation coefficient were used for statistical analysis.
    RESULTS: We classified 22 (27.5%) of the 80 videos as moderate/high-content and 58 (72.5%) as low-content. Most YouTube videos about DO were uploaded by doctors (45%) and information about DO was the most covered topic (61%). Videos from commercial companies had significantly higher GQS scores than videos uploaded by other groups (P = 0.040). In low-information content videos, GQS was highly correlated with the number of likes, whereas in moderate/high-content videos it was highly correlated with viewing rates.
    CONCLUSIONS: YouTube is insufficient source of information about DO and academic institutions have more responsibility in developing this situation and directing patients to reliable social media or Internet sources.
  8. Complement Ther Med. 2021 Jan 27. pii: S0965-2299(21)00015-7. [Epub ahead of print] 102674
      BACKGROUND: Ephedra sinica (ES) is a natural health product used to promote weight loss, enhance athletic performance, and treat common ailments such as the common cold or flu. Due to restrictions within Canada, Canadians interested in purchasing this product turn to online vendors for the ease and discrete nature of online transactions. However, the information available on these websites for consumers looking to purchase the substance is variable. This study investigated the quality of information about ES available to Canadian consumers on the websites of these online vendors.METHODS: Following searches on, eligible websites were assessed using the DISCERN instrument, a tool consisting of 16 questions, each rated on a five-point Likert scale to assess the quality of health information about a treatment choice. The data was used to determine the overall quality of information about ES available to consumers on these websites.
    RESULTS: A total of 660 webpages were identified, of which 28 websites were found to be eligible. It was determined that the overall quality of information of websites selling ES products online was poor, as 79% of online vendors received an average score of 2 or below.
    CONCLUSION: Consumers looking to purchase ES online are lacking critical information about this herbal product that is necessary to make an informed decision about its use. This information can be used by clinicians and researchers to inform consumers about the poor quality of information about ES on these websites and help them identify quality sources of information.
    Keywords:  Ephedra sinica; Ma huang; consumer health information; herbal; online vendor; quality of information
  9. J Cannabis Res. 2020 Sep 18. 2(1): 29
      BACKGROUND: Medical cannabis users report that their knowledge regarding cannabis is predominantly from their own personal experiences and the Internet.OBJECTIVE: We summarize and describe information found through Internet searches on medical cannabis in English language websites.
    METHODS: We used terms related to medical cannabis in the Google search engine between November and December 2019. Resulting websites were catalogued and coded for content, including mentions of health and medical conditions, pharmacology, dosage, harmful or adverse effects, harm reduction techniques, cautions or warnings, products for sale, and credentials.
    RESULTS: We coded 344 web pages on 179 unique websites. Cannabis was mentioned for the treatment of 151 different medical and health conditions, only four of the twenty most frequently mentioned conditions have received substantial empirical support for cannabis or cannabinoid treatment. Information content varied widely across sites, only a small proportion of sites included information on pharmacology, dosage, risks, and other aspects that are requirements for pharmaceutical drugs. Information provided was only moderately related to conclusions in the emerging scientific literature.
    CONCLUSIONS: Given the rise in cannabis use within the U.S. and the reliance on the Internet as a source of information, considerable efforts are needed to provide accurate on-line cannabis education to minimize harms and maximize benefits for individuals and society.
    Keywords:  Cannabinoid; Information; Internet; Knowledge; Marijuana; Medical cannabis
  10. J Craniofac Surg. 2021 Jan 28.
      BACKGROUND: With an ever-growing reliance on technology, patients are increasingly resorting to websites for their medical information. This study evaluates the readability, quality, and reliability of online information available on rhinoplasty provided by academic centers or impartial reference sources and private practice websites.METHODS: A cross-sectional study from July to August 2019 was performed looking at the first 42 informational websites on a Google search for the term nose job. Websites were categorized as belonging to impartial sources and academic centers or private practices. Two independent reviewers evaluated websites on their quality, readability, reliability, and technical qualities using several validated measures. The Health on the Net code (HONcode) and DISCERN questionnaire were used to assess the quality and reliability of the information presented on the websites. Significance tests were performed using SPSS Version 25.
    RESULTS: Of the 42 websites, 23 were impartial sources or academic centers (54.8%) and 19 were private practice websites (47.6%). The mean (±SD) for the HONcode and DISCERN scores were 5.7 (±2.8) and 2.6 (±0.7), respectively. The mean (SD) HONcode scores for impartial sources and private practice websites were 7.1 (±2.9) and 4.1 (±1.5), respectively (P < 0.001). The mean (±SD) DISCERN scores were 2.9 (±0.7) and 2.3 (±0.5), respectively (P = 0.009). There was no statistically significant difference in scores for readability and technical qualities.
    CONCLUSIONS: While impartial sources and academic centers score higher on quality and reliability scores, their scores were also low. These findings are concerning as many consumers use the information provided by online websites to guide decisions regarding their health.
  11. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2021 Feb 04. 21(1): 41
      BACKGROUND: Currently, the Internet seems to be a helpful tool for obtaining information about everything that we think about, including diseases, their prevention and treatment approaches. However, doubts exist regarding the quality and readability of such information. This study sought to assess the quality and readability of web-based Arabic information on periodontal disease.METHODS: In this infodemiological study, the Google, Yahoo!, and Bing search engines were searched using specific Arabic terms on periodontal disease. The first 100 consecutive websites from each engine were obtained. The eligible websites were categorized as commercial, health/professional, journalism, and other. The following tools were applied to assess the quality of the information on the included websites: the Health on the Net Foundation Code of Conduct (HONcode), the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmarks, and the DISCERN tool. The readability was assessed using an online readability tool.
    RESULTS: Of the 300 websites, 89 were eligible for quality and readability analyses. Only two websites (2.3%) were HONcode certified. Based on the DISCERN tool, 43 (48.3%) websites had low scores. The mean score of the JAMA benchmarks was 1.6 ± 1.0, but only 3 (3.4%) websites achieved "yes" responses for all four JAMA criteria. Based on the DISCERN tool, health/professional websites revealed the highest quality of information compared to other website categories. Most of the health/professional websites revealed moderate-quality information, while 55% of the commercial websites, 66% of journalism websites, and 43% of other websites showed poor quality information. Regarding readability, most of the analyzed websites presented simple and readable written content.
    CONCLUSIONS: Aside from readable content, Arabic health information on the analyzed websites on periodontal disease is below the required level of quality.
    Keywords:  Health information; Infodemiology; Misinformation; Periodontal disease; Quality; Readability
  12. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2021 Feb 04.
      BACKGROUND: Parents are increasingly turning to the internet to seek pediatric health information. Numerous organizations advise that patient educational materials (PEMs) should not surpass the sixth-grade reading level. We aimed to assess the readability of online pediatric orthopaedic PEMs.METHODS: The readability of 176 articles pertaining to pediatric orthopaedics from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA), and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) websites was assessed with the use of 8 readability formulae: the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Grade Level, the Flesch Reading Ease Score, the Raygor Estimate, the SMOG, the Coleman-Liau, the Fry, the FORCAST, and the Gunning Fog. The mean reading grade level (RGL) of each article was compared with the sixth and eighth-grade reading levels. The mean RGL of each website's articles also was compared.
    RESULTS: The cumulative mean RGL was 10.2 (range, 6.6 to 16.0). No articles (0%) were written at the sixth-grade reading level, and only 7 articles (4.0%) were written at or below the eighth-grade reading level. The mean RGL was significantly higher than the sixth-grade (95% confidence interval [CI] for the difference, 4.0 to 4.4; p < 0.001) and eighth-grade (95% CI, 2.0 to 2.4; p < 0.001) reading levels. The mean RGL of articles on the POSNA website was significantly lower than the mean RGL of the articles on the AAOS (95% CI, -1.8 to -1.0; p < 0.001) and AAP (95% CI, -2.9 to -1.1; p < 0.001) websites.
    CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric orthopaedic PEMs that are produced by the AAOS, the POSNA, and the AAP have readability scores that exceed recommendations. Given the increasing preference of parents and adolescents for online health information, the growing body of online PEMs, and the critical role that health literacy plays in patient outcomes, substantial work is required to address the readability of these materials.
  13. Health Info Libr J. 2021 Feb 01.
      OBJECTIVE: The objective of this paper was to determine the effects of certain socio-demographic characteristics of Turkish individuals who seek health information on the Internet.METHODS: This study was granted permission to use data obtained by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TSI) in 2018 under their Household Information Technology Use (HITU) study. The original sample for this research comprised 19,389 participants.
    RESULTS: Age, gender, educational level, place of residence and frequency of Internet use were all found to impact the participants' health information seeking behaviour on the Internet. Health information was sought more frequently by women than men, by younger than older people and by those with higher levels of education. Also, health information searches were conducted more often in developed regions than in less-developed regions. In addition, it was also found that the habit of seeking health information was more common among those who use the Internet more frequently.
    CONCLUSION: Several socio-demographic characteristics of individuals affect their health information seeking behaviour on the Internet. All individuals should be granted equivalent access to reliable health information by taking sociodemographic characteristics and discrepancies into consideration.
    Keywords:  Asia, West; Europe, South East; demography; healgth literacy; health information needs; information seeking behaviour; internet
  14. Health Educ Res. 2021 Feb 05. pii: cyab005. [Epub ahead of print]
      The existing research routinely measures the influence of health information-seeking behavior (HISB) as a whole, which does not capture the complexity and diversity of media channel usage in HISB. The influence of HISB on patient's lifestyle behaviors and the mediation process through patient-centered communication (PCC) in medical encounters has been understudied in previous literature. Drawing from Street's three-stage model, this study conducted a secondary analysis of the Health Information National Trends Survey in China to investigate the influences of HISB across five different media outlets (e.g. information-oriented media, entertainment-oriented media, search engines, social media and mobile health applications) on two types of healthy lifestyles (e.g. physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption), by the mediation of PCC. PROCESS path-analysis with bootstrapping estimation was used to test the hypothesized relationships. The results revealed that HISB is positively related to PCC, and PCC positively predicts frequent engagement in healthy lifestyles. Moreover, PCC partially mediates the effect of information-oriented media HISB on healthy lifestyles and fully mediates the effect of HISB through the other four media sources. This study highlights the essential stage of PCC transferring HISB to engagement in healthy lifestyles and draws attention to the varying influences of media channels carrying different characteristics.