bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2021‒02‒14
nineteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Memory. 2021 Feb 08. 1-13
      The Internet has radically shifted how people access information. Instead of storing information internally, increasingly, people outsource to the Internet and retrieve it when needed. While this is an efficient strategy in many ways, its downstream consequences remain largely unexplored. This research examines how accessing online information impacts how people remember information in a learning context. Across five experiments, participants studied for a quiz either by searching online to access relevant information or by directly receiving that same information without online search. Those who searched the Internet performed worse in the learning assessment, indicating that they stored less new knowledge in internal memory. However, participants who searched the Internet were as confident, or even more confident, that they had mastered the study material compared to those who did not search online. We argue that, by making information retrievability salient, Internet search reduces the likelihood of information being stored in memory. Further, these results suggest that searching online leads to the misattribution of online information to internal memory, thus masking the Internet-induced learning deficits.
    Keywords:  Memory; learning; metacognition; technology & cognition
  2. Res Synth Methods. 2021 Feb 08.
      Clinical trials registers form an important part of the search for studies in systematic reviews of intervention effectiveness but the search interfaces and functionality of registers can be challenging to search systematically and resource intensive to search well. We report a technical review of the search interfaces of three leading trials register resources:, the EU Clinical Trials Register and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registers Platform. The technical review used a validated checklist to identify areas where the search interfaces of these trials register resources performed well, where performance was adequate, where performance was poor, and to identify differences between search interfaces. The review found low overall scores for each of the interfaces ( 55/165, the EU Clinical Trials Register 25/165, the WHO International Clinical Trials Registers Platform 32/165). This finding suggests a need for joined-up dialogue between the producers of the registers and researchers who search them via these interfaces. We also set out a series of four proposed changes which might improve the search interfaces. Trials registers are an invaluable resource in systematic reviews of intervention effectiveness. With the continued growth in systematic reviews, and initiatives such as 'AllTrials', there is an anticipated need for these resources. We conclude that small changes to the search interfaces, and improved dialogue with providers, might improve the future search functionality of these valuable resources. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  3. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2021 Feb 08. 1-3
    Keywords:  COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; comprehension; disease outbreak; readability
  4. J Biomed Semantics. 2021 Feb 12. 12(1): 2
      Accurate and precise information about the therapeutic uses (indications) of a drug is essential for applications in drug repurposing and precision medicine. Leading online drug resources such as DrugCentral and DrugBank provide rich information about various properties of drugs, including their indications. However, because indications in such databases are often partly automatically mined, some may prove to be inaccurate or imprecise. Particularly challenging for text mining methods is the task of distinguishing between general disease mentions in drug product labels and actual indications for the drug. For this, the qualifying medical context of the disease mentions in the text should be studied. Some examples include contraindications, co-prescribed drugs and target patient qualifications. No existing indication curation efforts attempt to capture such information in a precise way. Here we fill this gap by presenting a novel curation protocol for extracting indications and machine processable annotations of contextual information about the therapeutic use of a drug. We implemented the protocol on a reference set of FDA-approved drug product labels on the DailyMed website to curate indications for 150 anti-cancer and cardiovascular drugs. The resulting corpus - InContext - focuses on anti-cancer and cardiovascular drugs because of the heightened societal interest in cancer and heart disease. In order to understand how InContext relates with existing reputable drug indication databases, we analysed it's overlap with a state-of-the-art indications database - LabeledIn - as well as a reputable online drug compendium - DrugCentral. We found that 40% of indications sampled from DrugCentral (and 23% from LabeledIn) respectively, could not be accounted for in InContext. This raises questions about the veracity of indications not appearing in InContext. The additional contextual information curated by InContext about disease mentions in drug SPLs provides a foundation for more precise, structured and formal representations of knowledge related to drug therapeutic use, in order to increase accuracy and agreement of drug indication extraction methods for in silico drug repurposing.
    Keywords:  Data quality; Drug indications; Drug repurposing; Ontologies; Semantic similarity
  5. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. 2021 Jan 26. 11(1): 39-41
      Introduction: YouTube is a popular website where public can access and gain information from videos related to COVID-19. This paper seeks to assess the quality and validity of information available on YouTube, based on the current Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Methods: We identified the 250 most-viewed videos from 1 January 2020 to 12 May 2020 on YouTube using keyword 'COVID 19'. Two independent reviewers analyzed the English-language videos as useful, misleading, or news updates. Result: After excluding non-English and irrelevant videos, 100 videos were analyzed. Forty-four videos were classified as useful, 33 videos were classified as news updates, and 23 videos were classified as misleading. Independent users had five times increased odds of posting misleading videos (40% vs. 12%, OR = 5.05, 95% CI = 1.84-13.9, P = 0.001), whereas news agencies have 2.8 greater odds of posting useful or update videos (87% vs 44%, OR = 2.85, 95% CI = 0.959-8.45, P = 0.087). Conclusion: YouTube is an increasingly important source of medical information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the videos were useful, however due to the public nature of the platform, misleading information may also be easily disseminated. Independent users are more likely to post-misleading videos.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; YouTube; coronavirus; pandemic; social media
  6. Addiction. 2021 Feb 09.
      BACKGROUND AND AIMS: There has been an increase in the potency of cannabis during the last two decades and adoption of a novel method of administration-vaping. YouTube, a social media platform, has become a popular source to access cannabis-related information. This study aimed to identify cannabis vaping YouTube videos from 2016 to 2020 and examine the themes and metrics.DESIGN: Cross-sectional sample of 200 YouTube videos.
    SETTING: YouTube, an on-line video sharing platform.
    MEASUREMENTS: Videos related to cannabis vaping were identified using the search terms: 'vaping cannabis', 'vaping weed', 'vaping marijuana' and 'vaping THC' [tetrahydrocannabinol]. Videos were independently coded by two researchers. The number of views, likes, dislikes and comments were also collected. Robust regression was used to analyse the relationship between identified video themes and video metrics.
    FINDINGS: Six themes were identified: 'advertisement', 'product review', 'celebratory', 'reflective', 'how-to' and 'warning'. The 'how-to' and 'celebratory' videos received the highest number of views and likes. The most popular video was viewed more than 4 000 000 times. Many videos portrayed risky behaviour (e.g. vaping a whole THC cartridge in a single setting). Fifty-two percent of these videos had no age access restrictions. The robust regression model also found that engagement metric was positively associated with 'reflective' videos and negatively associated with 'advertisement' videos.
    CONCLUSIONS: A large number of videos on cannabis vaping are available on-line without age-restriction. Videos that portrayed risky behaviour appear to be prevalent.
    Keywords:  Cannabis; YouTube; cannabis vaping; marijuana; social media; vaping marijuana
  7. Support Care Cancer. 2021 Feb 08.
      OBJECTIVE: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is one of the most prevalent non-melanoma skin cancers worldwide. While usually treatable, patients with high-risk or advanced disease have few treatment options and limited resources available. This review assesses what online information resources are available to patients and their families about either high-risk or advanced cSCC.METHODS: Searches were run, via Google, using 8 terms such as 'advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma patient information'. Advertisements were removed and the first 3 pages/30 results from each search were screened for duplicates and then against eligibility criteria. Websites needed to have been updated within the past 5 years, be freely accessible, designed specifically for patients and refer to the advanced disease or high-risk setting. Remaining results were assessed using the DISCERN tool.
    RESULTS: Of the final 240 results, 121 were duplicates and 104 were ineligible. The remaining 15 sources were predominantly aimed at American audiences, used variable terminology and revealed differing treatment pathways. Only 3 sites were deemed as 'high'-quality information sources.
    CONCLUSION: There is a lack of accessible online information on high-risk or advanced cSCC for patients. What is available is often too scientific or clinical and lacks clarity about the disease and treatment options.
    PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Further work is needed to improve the integrity and accessibility of online sources and to signpost patients to the most reliable information. This should include elements of patient led research, clinical education and information development.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Internet; Online information; Patient education; Skin cancer; Squamous cell carcinoma
  8. J Vasc Surg. 2021 Feb 09. pii: S0741-5214(21)00179-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Information on the internet regarding vascular disease has not been extensively assessed. Our goal was to compile and appraise the information available via Google and YouTube searches regarding various topics of interest for vascular surgeons and related procedures with a focus on the role of the vascular surgeon (VS).METHODS: The Google and YouTube platforms were independently queried for 25 keywords/phrases relating to common vascular diagnoses and procedures by two separate researchers from March to July 2019. Paid advertisements or a Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) webpage or affiliated video in the first 25 results was documented. Results were reviewed for information regarding the responsible medical specialty, the target audience, and disease-related information (screening, risk factors, risk reduction, diagnostic testing, operative treatment, alternative treatment, follow-up, complications, and recovery).
    RESULTS: From the Google search, 357 unique domains of 1241 total webpages were identified with 75% directed towards the public. A SVS page was present in 56% of the first-page results and least likely to be present in searches for claudication, gangrene, carotid stent, rib resection and thrombolysis. VS were mentioned as referral physicians in 56% of the 68% of websites that mentioned a specialty, endovascular specialists/interventional radiology (IR) in 20% and cardiothoracic surgeons (CTS) in 19%. Only 4% of the websites contained information from all categories, with the greatest number for aortic dissection. Advertisements were present in 18% of all searches (most commonly for "varicose vein," "varicose vein surgery" and "IVC filter"). From YouTube, 1247 search results (613 unique videos) were evaluated with 64% directed towards the public. A SVS affiliated video was present in 36% of searches. In the 47% of videos where a specialty was mentioned, 56% mentioned VS, IR in 10%, and CTS in 7%. Only 0.24% of the videos contained information from all categories. The greatest number of content categories was in videos related to peripheral arterial disease. Across both platforms, dialysis access searches yielded results with the least number of content categories.
    CONCLUSIONS: Patient related information regarding vascular surgical topics are readily available on the internet but the content is highly variable and not comprehensive. Only half of the searches mention VS as the referral physician of choice or authority for these medical conditions. Further efforts should focus on developing the online presence of vascular surgery, improving the quality of education of vascular disease on the internet, and directing patients to the vascular specialists to treat these conditions.
    Keywords:  Google; YouTube; internet; vascular
  9. Hernia. 2021 Feb 07.
      PURPOSE: Hernia repair remains one of the most common surgical procedures. Surgical mesh usage has been highlighted in the media due to recent lawsuits and recalls. Patients can read potentially biased information on the Internet and this can influence a patient's healthcare decisions. The purpose of this study is to evaluate search engine listings and respective website content of surgical mesh for hernia repair.METHODS: Websites evaluated were derived from four keyword searches targeting surgical mesh with Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Websites from the first two pages of each search were evaluated for content comprehensiveness.
    RESULTS: The largest category of websites from search engine results was legal advertisements, accounting for 20% of all results. These websites also held the first position on every results page. Legal advertisements and blog/forum websites were the most skewed toward surgical mesh risks and complications vs. benefits. There was a reduction in advertisements in 2020 vs. 2018. The most comprehensive non-advertisement websites were found more frequently. Overall, only 44% of websites presented references and 50% cited supporting data. Finally, 46% of 'recommended search terms' displayed on the search engine results page had a risk, complication, or legal bias.
    CONCLUSIONS: These results emphasize the challenges of using an Internet search engine to find comprehensive and appropriate information regarding surgical mesh. This manuscript underscores the importance for physicians to direct patients toward specific websites to mitigate their exposure to websites that are biased and not appropriate for patients searching for an accurate and comprehensive overview of surgical mesh.
    Keywords:  Internet research; Patient education; Search engine results page; Surgical mesh
  10. World J Surg. 2021 Feb 12.
      BACKGROUND: The Internet has become a central source of information on health-related issues. The aim of this study is to assess the quality and readability of online information present on the Whipple surgical procedure by applying recognized scoring tools.METHODS: A search using the top three online search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo) was conducted in July 2020. Websites were classified as academic, physician, commercial or unspecified. The quality of information was assessed using the JAMA and DISCERN assessment instruments and presence of a HONcode seal. Readability was assessed using the Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES).
    RESULTS: A total of 34 unique sources were included in our study. The average JAMA and DISCERN scores of all websites were 2.22 ± 0.48 and 47.28 ± 1.17, respectively, with a median of 1.9 (range 0-4) and 47 (range 18-71), respectively. Website classification distribution was 38% academic, 18% commercial, 9% unspecified, and 1% from physician-based websites. Physician websites had the highest JAMA score with a mean of 3 ± 0.46. Unspecified websites had the highest DISCERN score with a mean of 54.60 ± 1.09. Only 3 websites had the HONcode seal. Physician websites had a significantly higher JAMA mean score than academic websites (p-value = 0.004). Readability was difficult and is on the level of university students.
    CONCLUSION: The results of this study show a poor quality of online information present on the Whipple surgery. Academic and physician websites need to improve the quality of their websites on the procedure. More HONcode-certified websites are needed as they are the best source for information on this operation.
  11. Curr Oncol. 2021 Feb 08. 28(1): 842-846
      BACKGROUND: Patient information is critical in shared decision-making and patient-centred management for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). Most adults search the internet for health issues, with over half considering such information to be credible. Therefore, we evaluated the quality of online information on NETs.METHODS: Searching for "Neuroendocrine Tumours", the top 20 websites from Google and top 10 from Yahoo and Bing were identified. Open-access websites written in English were included. Websites indicated as advertisements or directed towards healthcare providers were excluded. Each website was evaluated using the JAMA benchmarks, DISCERN instrument, and the Health on the Internet (HONCode) seal by two independent reviewers.
    RESULTS: We included 16 unique websites after removing duplicates. Four were education pages from healthcare institutions, 10 were Cancer Society pages, and 2 were general information pages. The average score for JAMA benchmarks was 2.3, with 19% of websites receiving the highest score of 4. Specifically, 31% met the benchmark for authorship, 69% for attribution, 94% for disclosure, and 44% for currency. The average score for the DISCERN instrument was 46.5, with no website achieving the maximum of 80 points. The HONCode seal was present in 3 out of 16 websites (18%).
    CONCLUSIONS: We identified major issues with the quality of online information for NETs using validated instruments. The majority of websites identified through common search engines are low-quality. Patients should be informed of the limited quality of online information on NETs. High-quality online information is needed to ensure that patients can avoid misinformation and actively participate in their care.
    Keywords:  carcinoid; neuroendocrine; online information; patient education; quality
  12. Nurs Open. 2021 Mar;8(2): 975-981
      AIM: The present study aims to investigate the sources of information and its related factors among pregnant Afghan migrant women who reside in southeast Tehran Province, Iran.DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
    METHODS: A total of 280 pregnant Afghan women who received care at the prenatal clinics of selected healthcare centres in southeast Tehran Province (Iran) in 2018 enrolled in this study. Data were collected by continuous sampling by a questionnaire that asked about demographic, obstetric and sources of information used during pregnancy.
    RESULTS: The most important sources of information accessed by pregnant Afghan women were healthcare providers (65.1%), family and friends (47.55%), the Internet (32.1%) and media (18.9%). There was statistically a significant relationship between sources of information and education level, number of children, length of residence in Iran, place of birth and insurance status.
    Keywords:  information seeking; migrant; pregnant women; source of information
  13. JCO Oncol Pract. 2021 Feb 08. OP2000789
      PURPOSE: Treatment Summaries and Survivorship Care Plans (TS/SCPs) may be difficult for patients to comprehend because of readability, magnitude of information, and complex medical verbiage.METHODS: Readability scores were calculated for TS/SCP templates including ASCO, Oncolink, Journey Forward, and the authors' institution. The Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) index, Flesch-Kincaid reading grade level, Coleman-Liau Index, and Gunning Fog index were used to assess readability.
    RESULTS: The Flesch-Kincaid reading ease scores for the blank ASCO templates ranged from 47.4 to 53.3, requiring a reading grade level of 10-12. Coleman-Liau and Gunning Fog scores showed that an 11th grade reading level is essential, and SMOG required a college education to comprehend the ASCO templates. For the colorectal case exemplar, Oncolink's template resulted in the lowest SMOG score (11.3; 11th grade), Flesch-Kincaid reading grade level (11; 11th grade), and Coleman-Liau score (12; 12th grade). Journey Forward's TS/SCP template scored the highest on the SMOG (21.2; college graduate), Flesch-Kincaid reading grade level (18.3; college graduate), and Gunning-Fog index (25.8; college graduate) compared with other TS/SCPs.
    CONCLUSION: The existing TS/SCP templates used by US cancer centers are written at a grade level beyond the comprehension of most adults. Cancer care teams should assess TS/SCP content for readability and use of plain language and reduce medical jargon.
  14. J Contemp Dent Pract. 2020 Sep 01. 21(9): 956-960
      AIM: This study aimed to assess the quality and readability of the available health information on the net regarding denture hygiene.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three search engines (Google, Yahoo!, and Bing) were searched. The first 20 consecutive websites from each engine were obtained and checked for eligibility. For the quality of the websites, the Health on the Net Foundation Code of Conduct (HONcode), the DISCERN tool, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Benchmarks, and Google PageRank were used for the assessment of the included websites. For readability, an online web tool was used, including well-known analyzing indices [Flesch Kincaid grade level (FKGL), Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG), and Flesch Reading Ease (FRE)]. The acceptable readability level was set to be ≥80.0 for the FRE and <7 for the FKGL and SMOG. The data were presented in frequencies and percentages.
    RESULTS: Out of the 60 screened websites, 14 websites were eligible for analysis. There was only one (7.1%) website that had the HONcode seal. The mean score of all websites based on the DISCERN tool was 29.6 ± 12.1, with no website achieved the high score (≥65). Only one (7.1%) website scored >5 based on Google PageRank. Regarding JAMA benchmarks, all websites achieved a mean score of 2.57 ± 1.1. The mean grade level based on the FKGL was 8.4 ± 6.3. All websites had a score of <7 according to the SMOG index. The mean score of the readability ease index was 90.5 ± 16.4.
    CONCLUSION: Most of the dental health information on denture hygiene available on the Arabic websites did not have the required level of quality, regardless of being readable and comprehensible by most of the general people.
    CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Directing the patients to the appropriate websites related to their cases is the responsibility of the dentists.
    Keywords:  Denture hygiene; Health information; Infodemiology; Internet-based information; Quality assessment Readability.
  15. Health Lit Res Pract. 2021 Feb 11. 5(1): e26-e34
      BACKGROUND: In a world increasingly dependent on the Internet for information, it is not surprising that people use the internet to find answers to their health-related questions. Research has shown that teen girls are more likely to search for health information online than boys, but that they do not feel confident in using the information they find.OBJECTIVE: To address this disparity, teen girls were engaged in the process of developing a teen-friendly, internet-based tool that explains the best way to find, evaluate, and use online health information.
    METHODS: Focus groups were held with girls and their parents to inform the design of the tool. After collaborating with information technology, marketing, and video production teams, a tool was developed consisting of a webpage, videos, and an interactive game. The efficacy and acceptability of the tool were tested among our target demographic through a usability trial.
    KEY RESULTS: Parent and teen focus groups informed the three-step design of the tool. Teen girls reported significantly higher levels of eHealth literacy after using the tool. Dissemination of the tool through a national targeted ad campaign generated web traffic to the tool.
    CONCLUSIONS: An internet-based training tool has been shown to improve teen girls' eHealth literacy. Findings from this developmental study can be used to inform efforts to improve eHealth literacy in adolescent girls. [HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice. 2021;5(1):e26-e34.] PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY: This research study used teen and parent input to help design an internet-based training tool to teach teen girls the best way to use the internet to find health information. Teen girls' ability to find, understand, and evaluate online health information significantly improved after using the tool. The tool was advertised throughout the United States on various social media platforms.
  16. Health Policy. 2021 Jan 30. pii: S0168-8510(21)00026-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: How best to provide an increasingly diverse population with health information has become a major concern for health policy makers in Europe and beyond. Our study aims to investigate factors explaining variation in people's health information seeking behaviour. Our findings can be used to identify target groups for policy interventions that aim to provide health information efficiently.METHODS: Cross-sectional, paper-based, multilingual survey of a random sample of enrolees of two statutory health insurers in Hamburg, Germany. Data were collected from September to December 2017. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine sociodemographic and health-related individual characteristics and their associations with participants' choice of ten sources of health information.
    FINDINGS: Participants' choice of information sources differed significantly across the following sociodemographic and health-related characteristics: age, gender, immigration status, education, employment status, marital status and general state of health. Immigrants and individuals with low educational attainment were most likely to use emergency departments as sources of health information.
    CONCLUSION: Policy interventions aiming to manage the use of health information sources should focus on immigrants and individuals with low educational attainment. Providing multilingual, low-threshold counselling and information services could be an efficient way to reduce short-term costs of health information seeking behaviour to health insurers or other payers of care while improving patient empowerment.
    Keywords:  German statutory health insurance survey; Health information seeking behaviour; Health-related determinants; Information sources; Sociodemographic determinants
  17. J Educ Health Promot. 2020 ;9 344
      Background: In health care, the rapid proliferation of health information on the internet has resulted in more patients turning to the digital media as their first source of health information and acquiring knowledge. The present study was conducted to assess use of the digital medium as a medical information resource in health-related states and to determine their experience and perceptions about the quality and reliability of the information available among the participants.Methodology: The study was done in an urban settlement of Delhi among adults who use any digital media. A sample of 321 were selected though convenient sampling. The information was collected through a semi-structured, self-administered, pre-tested questionnaire which contained questions on socio-demographic profile, internet usage and awareness about Digital India. Bivariate analysis was done to determine the association between various socio-demographic variables associated with internet usage for health information.
    Results: In the present study, 88.2% (283/321) were using the internet for health information through digital media. This study found out that younger age group (18-30 years), literate and higher socioeconomic group (upper middle and above) population were more likely to access health information via digital media which was found out to be statistically significant.
    Conclusion: Access to health information through digitization can improve health literacy among the population and help in promoting a preventive aspect to health problems and disease. They can be the building blocks to build "Swasth Bharat (Healthy India)".
    Keywords:  Digital India; E health; M health; health literacy