bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2021‒02‒21
sixteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. Neurosurgery. 2021 Jan 27. pii: nyaa573. [Epub ahead of print]
    O'Donohoe TJ, Bridson TL, Shafik CG, Wynne D, Dhillon RS, Tee JW.
      BACKGROUND: There is mounting evidence that the search strategies upon which systematic reviews (SRs) are based frequently contain errors are incompletely reported or insensitive.OBJECTIVE: To appraise the quality of search strategies in the 10 leading specialty neurosurgical journals and identify factors associated with superior searches.
    METHODS: This research-on-research study systematically surveyed SRs published in the 10 leading neurosurgical journals between 01/10/2017 and 31/10/2019. All SRs were eligible for assessment using a predefined coding manual that was adapted from the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA), a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews (AMSTAR), and Cochrane Collaboration guidelines. The PubMed interface was used to search the MEDLINE database, which was supplemented by individual journal searches. Descriptive statistics were utilized to identify factors associated with improved search strategies.
    RESULTS: A total of 633 articles were included and contained a median of 19.00 (2.00-1654.00) studies. Less than half (45.97%) of included search strategies were considered to be reproducible. Aggregated reporting score was positively associated with in-text reference to reporting guideline adherence (τb = 0.156, P < .01). The number of articles retrieved by a search (τb = 0.11, P < .01) was also associated with the reporting of a reproducible search strategy.
    CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that the search strategies used in neurosurgical SRs require improvement. In addition to increasing awareness of reporting standards, we propose that this be achieved by the incorporation of PRISMA and other guidelines into article submission and peer-review processes. This may lead to the conduct of more informative SRs, which may result in improved clinician decision-making and patient outcomes.
    Keywords:  Neurosurgery; Reporting quality; Research on research; Search strategies; Systematic review
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa573
  2. J Med Internet Res. 2021 Feb 17. 23(2): e22668
    Klompstra L, Liljeroos M, Lundgren J, Ingadottir B.
      BACKGROUND: As patients are increasingly searching for information about their medical condition on the internet, there is a need for health professionals to be able to guide patients toward reliable and suitable information sources on the internet.OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to develop a clinical tool for health care professionals to assess the usability and quality of the content of websites containing medical information that could be recommended to patients.
    METHODS: A 3-round modified electronic Delphi (eDelphi) study was conducted with 20 health care professionals.
    RESULTS: In round one of the eDelphi study, of the 68 items initially created, 41 items (29 on usability and 12 on content) were rated as important or very important by more than half of the panel and thus selected for further evaluation in round two. In round two, of the 41 items chosen from round 1, 19 were selected (9 on usability and 10 on content) as important or very important by more than half of the panel for further evaluation. As a result of round three, 2 items were combined as a single item, leaving the instrument with 18 items in total (8 on usability and 10 on content). The tool is freely accessible online.
    CONCLUSIONS: The CUE-tool can be used to (1) evaluate the usability and reliability of the content of websites before recommending them to patients as a good information source; (2) identify websites that do not have reliable content or may be difficult for patients to use; (3) develop quality websites by using the criteria in the CUE-tool; and (4) identify different qualities between different websites.
    Keywords:  apps; eDelphi; internet; self-care; smartphone; websites
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.2196/22668
  3. J Biomed Inform. 2021 Feb 11. pii: S1532-0464(21)00034-4. [Epub ahead of print] 103705
    Akabe K, Takeuchi T, Aoki T, Nishimura K.
      For annotation in cancer genomic medicine, oncologists have to refer to various knowledge bases worldwide and retrieve all information (e.g., drugs, clinical trials, and academic papers) related to a gene variant. However, oncologists find it difficult to search these knowledge bases comprehensively because there are multiple paraphrases containing abbreviations and foreign languages in their terminologies including diseases, drugs, and genes. In this paper, we propose a novel search method considering deep paraphrases, which helps oncologists retrieve essential annotation resources swiftly and effortlessly. Our method recursively finds paraphrases based on paraphrase corpora, expands a source document, and finally generates a paraphrase lattice. The proposed method also feedbacks beneficial information regarding the paraphrases applied for a search, which is useful for selecting search results and considering a query for the succeeding search. The results of an experiment demonstrated that our method could retrieve important annotation information that could not be retrieved using a conventional search system and simple paraphrasing. Additionally, annotation experts evaluated our method and found it to be practical.
    Keywords:  Cancer genomics; Corpus; Database; Information retrieval; Paraphrase; Synonym
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbi.2021.103705
  4. Drug Saf. 2021 Feb 13.
    Bulcock A, Hassan L, Giles S, Sanders C, Nenadic G, Campbell S, Dixon W.
      INTRODUCTION: Information on suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) voluntarily submitted by patients can be a valuable source of information for improving drug safety; however, public awareness of reporting mechanisms remains low. Whilst methods to automatically detect ADR mentions from social media posts using text mining techniques have been proposed to improve reporting rates, it is unclear how acceptable these would be to social media users.OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to explore public opinion about using automated methods to detect and report mentions of ADRs on social media to enhance pharmacovigilance efforts.
    METHODS: Users of the online health discussion forum HealthUnlocked participated in an online survey (N = 1359) about experiences with ADRs, knowledge of pharmacovigilance methods, and opinions about using automated data mining methods to detect and report ADRs. To further explore responses, five qualitative focus groups were conducted with 20 social media users with long-term health conditions.
    RESULTS: Participant responses indicated a low awareness of pharmacovigilance methods and ADR reporting. They showed a strong willingness to share health-related social media data about ADRs with researchers and regulators, but were cautious about automated text mining methods of detecting and reporting ADRs.
    CONCLUSIONS: Social media users value public-facing pharmacovigilance schemes, even if they do not understand the current framework of pharmacovigilance within the UK. Ongoing engagement with users is essential to understand views, share knowledge and respect users' privacy expectations to optimise future ADR reporting from online health communities.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40264-021-01042-6
  5. J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2021 Feb 11. pii: S1553-4650(21)00085-6. [Epub ahead of print]
    Towne J, Suliman Y, Russell KA, Stuparich MA, Nahas S, Behbehani S.
      STUDY OBJECTIVE: To analyze the nature and accuracy of social media (Facebook) content related to endometriosis DESIGN: Retrospective content analysis SETTING: Social media platform, Facebook PATIENTS: Social media posts on Facebook endometriosis pages INTERVENTIONS: A search of public Facebook pages was performed using the key word "endometriosis". Posts from the month-long study period were categorized and analyzed for accuracy. Two independent researchers used thematic evaluation to place posts into the following 11 categories: educational, emotional support, advocacy, discussion, events, humor, promotional, recipes, resources, surveys, and other. Posts categorized as "educational" were further subcategorized and reviewed. Each posted fact was cross-referenced in peer-reviewed scientific journals to determine whether the claim made was evidence-based. Engagement in a post was calculated by taking the sum of comments, shares, and reactions.MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Fifty-three Facebook pages meeting inclusion criteria were identified and 1,464 posts from the study period were evaluated. Emotional support posts comprised the largest category of posts (48%) followed by educational posts (21%). Within the educational category, the epidemiology and pathophysiology subcategory comprised the largest group (42.0%) followed by the symptoms subcategory (19.6%). Post category had an effect on the amount of post engagement (p-value < 0.001) with emotional posts generating 70% of the overall engagement. The subcategories of the educational posts demonstrated a similar effect on engagement (p-value < 0.001). Posts were more engaging if they contained epidemiology and pathophysiology information with 44% of all engagement of educational posts occurring within this subcategory. Educational posts were found to be 93.93% accurate. There was no correlation between post engagement and post information accuracy (p-value = 0.3117).
    CONCLUSION: Facebook pages offer emotional support and education to people with endometriosis. Most information found in these Facebook pages is evidence-based. Clinicians should consider discussing the use of Facebook pages with their patients diagnosed with endometriosis.
    Keywords:  Endometriosis; Facebook; Social media
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmig.2021.02.005
  6. Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2021 Feb 20.
    Kidy S, McGoldrick DM, Stockton P.
      INTRODUCTION AND AIM: Healthcare information is becoming more readily available and searched for online, particularly on websites such as YouTube™. The accuracy and content of these websites is often questionable. We aimed to evaluate the quality of information available on surgical extraction of wisdom teeth on YouTube™.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched for the terms 'wisdom teeth', 'third molar', and 'wisdom tooth extraction' on YouTube™. The first 3 pages of results for each search term were assessed for inclusion and were independently rated by two assessors. Three separate scales to rate the quality of online information were used-DICSERN (range 0-5), HONcode (range 0-8) and the Global Quality Scale (GQS)(range 1-5). Cohen's kappa test was used to assess inter-rater reliability.
    RESULTS: The searches returned 179 videos, but 114 were excluded (37 duplicates, 3 unrelated, 57 non-surgical, 13 <10k views, 4 non-English). Of the 65 videos included, the average length was 6 minutes and 34 seconds, and the average percentage positivity was 89%. The mean DISCERN score was 1.47 (SD 1.13), and the mean score for GQS was 2.15 (SD 0.6). No video met all HONcode criteria with the mean score being 2.96 (SD 0.9). There was good inter-rater reliability for the DISCERN score (kappa= 0.744) and HONcode score (kappa =0.866) but less reliability for GQS (kappa = 0.204).
    CONCLUSION: The standard of information on YouTube™ on surgical extraction of wisdom teeth varies, but is of poor quality overall. Patients should be advised to be cautious of such sources for information on this topic.
    Keywords:  Dental; Dental extraction; Oral surgery; Surgical extraction; Third molar; Wisdom tooth
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10006-021-00941-3
  7. Birth Defects Res. 2021 Feb 17.
    Yılmaz FH, Tutar MS, Arslan D, Çeri A.
      BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to assess the readability, understandability, and quality of information on retinopathy of prematurity presented at websites frequently visited by parents.METHODS: A total of 220 websites were assessed, which were recruited by searching for "retinopathy of prematurity" at the Google search engine. The readability of each web page was assessed by Flesch Reading Ease Score, Gobbledygook's Gunning Frequency, Flesch Kincaid Grade Level, Coleman Liau score, The Simple Measure of Gobbledygook, Fry Graph Readability Formula, and Automated readability score. The understandability of the web pages included in the study was measured by using the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool. Quality was evaluated using Health in Net code and JAMA. The ALEXA traffic tool was used to reference the domains' popularity and visibility.
    RESULTS: Sixty-four websites were included to the study. The average Flesch Reading Ease Score was 50.1 ± 11.4, Gunning Frequency of Gobbledygook level was 13.4 ± 2.5, The Flesch-Kincaid Grade level was 10.7 ± 2.2, Coleman Liau level was 10.8 ± 1.7, Simple Measure of Gobbledygook level was 10.0 ± 1.9, and Fry Graph Readability Formula 11.9 ± 2.7, Automated readability score 10.4 ± 2.5. The average understandability score for all website-based patient education materials was 76.9 ± 15.2. Total JAMA Benchmark score is 2.27 ± 1.14 (range from 1 to 4). The quality of information at most websites were determined by our chosen assessments to not to be good.
    CONCLUSION: Websites addressed to parents for retinopathy of prematurity had found to have high understandability. It was concluded based on this study that readability and quality of presented written materials at online sources need to be improved.
    Keywords:  literacy; online parent education; patient education materials assessment tool health; readability and understandability score; retinopathy of prematurity
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/bdr2.1883
  8. Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2021 Feb 12. pii: S1078-5884(21)00045-9. [Epub ahead of print]
    Dar T, Chowdhury MM, Coughlin PA.
      OBJECTIVE: The quality of patient information relating to intermittent claudication (IC) and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) on the World Wide Web was assessed.METHODS: The quality of websites and YouTube videos was assessed using the search terms "intermittent claudication" and "peripheral arterial disease". The first 50 hits screened for each search term from the three largest search engines by market share, and the first 20 videos from YouTube were screened. Website quality was scored using the University of Michigan Consumer Health Website tool (maximum score 80). Readability was calculated using the Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) score (maximum score 100). Videos were classified by content and upload source. Video reliability was assessed using the JAMA benchmark criteria. Video educational content was assessed using the Global Quality Score (GQS). Subjective content assessment was undertaken.
    RESULTS: Seventy-six websites were analysed. The majority of websites for both IC (51.7%) and PAD (72.3%) were rated as weak. The median Michigan score for IC (27; interquartile range [IQR] 15, 32.5) was lower that the score for PAD (31; IQR 25.5, 38.8; p = .030). The majority of websites for both IC (69%) and PAD (68.1%) were rated as requiring an above average reading level. The overall median FRE score was 55.9 (IQR 46.6, 60.6) for IC and 55.3 (IQR 44.6, 59.3) for PAD. Twenty-two videos were analysed. Of the 14 videos evaluated as part of the PAD search, the median JAMA score was 2 (2 - 3), the median GQS score was 3 (3 - 3) and the evaluation of content score was 8.5 (7.25 - 11.5). The equivalent scores for the IC search were 2 (2 - 2), 3 (3 - 4), and 5.5 (5 - 8).
    CONCLUSION: The educational quality and reliability of information both in written and video form on the internet is low. Attention needs to focus on improving the quality of all forms of information delivery to allow proper advocacy for patients.
    Keywords:  Education; Intermittent claudication; Internet; Peripheral arterial disease; YouTube
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2021.01.002
  9. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 25. pii: 1047. [Epub ahead of print]18(3):
    Lee KS, Cho YM, Oh SH, Jung MS, Yoon JY.
      Patients with heart failure (HF) may not receive enough HF education from their clinicians throughout the course of the illness. Given that information is readily accessible on the Internet, patients with HF may seek HF information online. However, the relevance of online information for patients, the health literacy demand, and quality of the information is unknown. The purpose of this study was to compare the HF topics available online with topics HF patients perceived to be important and to evaluate the health literacy demand and quality of online HF information. The most popular search engines and a website that ranks the popularity of the websites were searched to identify websites with HF information. The health literacy demand and quality of the information were evaluated using the Patient Education Material Evaluation Tool for Print Materials and the DISCERN tool, respectively. First, the HF Patients' Learning Needs Inventory (HFPLNI) was used to determine whether the websites included the 46 topics identified in this inventory. Patients with HF (n = 126) then completed the HFPLNI to rate the perceived importance on each topic. A chi-square test was used to compare the differences between the topics on the websites and those patients perceived to be important. Of the 46 topics, 39 were less likely to be included on the websites even though patients perceived that they were important topics. Information on the websites (n = 99) was not written could not be easily understood by patients and did not meet the overall health literacy demands of 58.0% and 19.8% of the patients, respectively. Only one-fifth of the websites were rated as fair to good quality. Online HF information had high health literacy demand and was poor quality with mostly generic HF information, which did not meet patients' information needs. Websites need to be developed reflecting patients' learning needs with low health literacy demand and good quality.
    Keywords:  eHealth; heart failure; learning need
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031047
  10. Semin Ophthalmol. 2021 Feb 18. 1-6
    Kalavar M, Hubschman S, Hudson J, Kuriyan AE, Sridhar J.
      OBJECTIVE: To assess the quality, content, and readability of information available online on vitreous floater information.DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
    PARTICIPANTS: Not applicable.
    METHODS: Websites were generated using a Google search of "vitreous floaters treatment" and "[State]" and were analyzed using a standardized checklist of 22 questions. Readability was assessed using the Flesch Reading Ease score. Websites met qualification criteria if they represented U.S.-based institutions, if they provided clinical care and addressed vitreous floater treatment on their website.
    RESULTS: Of the 1,065 websites screened, 456 were included. Of these, 406 (89%) were private institutions, 24 (5.3%) were academic, and 26 (5.7%) were a combination of private and academic. The average readability score correlated to a 10th-12th grade reading level. Vitreous floater treatment was discussed on 283 (62.1%) websites and 63 (21.8%) websites discussed potential side effects. Google rank was inversely correlated with the depth of explanation (r = -0.114, p = .016). Observation was the main treatment recommended (55.8%, n = 158), followed by laser treatment (27.6%, n = 78), no specific treatment recommendation (11.3%, n = 32), and vitrectomy (5.3%, n = 15). Centers with vitreoretinal surgeons were 16.43 times more likely to recommend vitrectomy than those without vitreoretinal surgeons (p < .001).
    CONCLUSIONS: Online information about vitreous floater treatment is variable, and the material is at a higher than recommended reading level for health information. While treatment was discussed by nearly two thirds of websites, less than a quarter mentioned possible complications, and treatment recommendations varied significantly depending on physician training.
    Keywords:  floaters; patient education; vitreoretinal surgery
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/08820538.2021.1887898
  11. Sex Reprod Health Matters. 2021 Dec;29(1): 1883804
    Leone T, Coast E, Correa S, Wenham C.
      Sexual and reproductive health needs and access are often neglected during health emergencies. The 2015/2016 Zika epidemic is an example of priorities shifting to the detriment of women's health needs. The internet is a key tool for abortion knowledge sharing and seeking in countries where abortion is not legally available and it is also a key resource for tele-health. Yet, we know very little about how people use the internet, and the type of information searched for, to access abortion information and services. The aim of this study is to analyse to what extent and how the internet was used as a resource for abortion information during the Zika outbreak and its aftermath in Brazil in 2015/2016. Using Google Trends and Analytics data, we analyse contextually-specific abortion searches using standardised terms that reflect the overall representation of searches at that time alongside weekly levels of Zika incidence. The results show a heightened use of combined search terms for abortion and Zika, as well as abortion and microcephaly, suggesting a rise in abortion information searching linked to the epidemic. These searches were highly correlated with the level of Zika incidence. This study confirms the use of the internet for information seeking during a public health emergency. It demonstrates the need for appropriate internet resources to improve access to abortion information, especially in countries where abortion is highly restricted and stigmatised.
    Keywords:  Google Trends; Zika; abortion; internet; microcephaly; tele-health
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/26410397.2021.1883804
  12. J Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2021 Feb 17. 96(1): 4
    Ajbar A, Shepherd TA, Robinson M, Mallen CD, Prior JA.
      BACKGROUND: Global Public Health Days (GPHD) are public health interventions which serve to improve public awareness of specific health conditions. Google Trends is a publicly available tool that allows the user to view the popularity of a searched keyword during a specified time period and across a predetermined region. Our objective was to use Google Trends to assess the impact of four GPHD (World Heart Day, World Mental Health Day, World Diabetes Day and World Hypertension Day) on online health information-seeking behaviour (OHISB), 4 weeks before and a week after the GPHD, across six countries of the Arabian Peninsula (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates).METHODS: Relative Search Volume (RSV) was extracted for the aforementioned countries from 28 days before the GPHD and 7 days afterwards. Statistical analysis, undertaken using joinpoint regression software, showed that GPHD have significant changes for Saudi Arabia (Diabetes, Mental Health and Heart day) and UAE (Mental Health day) but were short-lived with a fall in RSV of up to 80% after peak interest.
    CONCLUSION: GPHD appears to be effective in some countries while further research is needed to investigate the reason of its limitations.
    Keywords:  Arabian Peninsula; Diabetes mellitus; Global Health; Google Trends; Heart disease; Hypertension; Infodemiology; Mental health; Public Health Campaigns
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s42506-020-00063-w
  13. Front Public Health. 2020;8:8 616603
    Schäfer M, Stark B, Werner AM, Tibubos AN, Reichel JL, Pfirrmann D, Edelmann D, Heller S, Mülder LM, Rigotti T, Letzel S, Dietz P.
      Health information-seeking behavior is the process of gathering information about health and disease and can be influential for health-related perception and behavior. University students are an important target group for prevention and health promotion and largely belong to an age group that is considered to play a leading role in propagating the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Germany. The paper deals with students' health information-seeking behavior before and during the corona crisis, aiming to give insights into its determinants and implications. Using the example of a large German comprehensive university and based on two cross-sectional surveys in the summer of 2019 (n = 4,351) and 2020 (n = 3,066), we investigate which information channels students use for health information, how information seeking changes during the course of the pandemic, and to what extent information seeking is associated with risk perception and risk behavior. For a subsample of participants that participated in both surveys (n = 443), we also trace developments at the individual level through a longitudinal analysis. The results show that students' health information seeking takes place primarily online and changed markedly during the corona crisis. The comparatively high relevance of sources that are largely based on unchecked user-generated content raises the concern whether students' health information-seeking behavior guarantees the necessary quality and reliability of health information. Significant correlations between the intensity of corona-related information seeking, risk perception, and actual risk behavior were found.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; health information seeking; risk behavior; risk perception; university students
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.616603
  14. Artif Intell Med. 2021 Feb;pii: S0933-3657(21)00001-4. [Epub ahead of print]112 102008
    Kalyan KS, Sangeetha S.
      In the last few years, people started to share lots of information related to health in the form of tweets, reviews and blog posts. All these user generated clinical texts can be mined to generate useful insights. However, automatic analysis of clinical text requires identification of standard medical concepts. Most of the existing deep learning based medical concept normalization systems are based on CNN or RNN. Performance of these models is limited as they have to be trained from scratch (except embeddings). In this work, we propose a medical concept normalization system based on BERT and highway layer. BERT, a pre-trained context sensitive deep language representation model advanced state-of-the-art performance in many NLP tasks and gating mechanism in highway layer helps the model to choose only important information. Experimental results show that our model outperformed all existing methods on two standard datasets. Further, we conduct a series of experiments to study the impact of different learning rates and batch sizes, noise and freezing encoder layers on our model.
    Keywords:  BERT; Clinical Natural Language Processing; Highway Network; Medical Concept Normalization
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.artmed.2021.102008