bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2021‒03‒07
thirteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Health Psychol. 2021 Mar 01.
      Objective: Health misinformation on social media threatens public health. One question that could lend insight into how and through whom misinformation spreads is whether certain people are susceptible to many types of health misinformation, regardless of the health topic at hand. This study provided an initial answer to this question and also tested four hypotheses concerning the psychosocial attributes of people who are susceptible to health misinformation: (1) deficits in knowledge or skill, (2) preexisting attitudes, (3) trust in health care and/or science, and (4) cognitive miserliness. Method: Participants in a national U.S. survey (N = 923) rated the perceived accuracy and influence of true and false social media posts about statin medications, cancer treatment, and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine and then responded to individual difference and demographic questions. Results: Perceived accuracy of health misinformation was strongly correlated across statins, cancer, and the HPV vaccine (rs ≥ .70), indicating that individuals who are susceptible to misinformation about one of these topics are very likely to believe misinformation about the other topics as well. Misinformation susceptibility across all three topics was most strongly predicted by lower educational attainment and health literacy, distrust in the health care system, and positive attitudes toward alternative medicine. Conclusions: A person who is susceptible to online misinformation about one health topic may be susceptible to many types of health misinformation. Individuals who were more susceptible to health misinformation had less education and health literacy, less health care trust, and more positive attitudes toward alternative medicine. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
  2. Adv Physiol Educ. 2021 Mar 01. 45(1): 160-171
      Online resources are becoming increasingly important in undergraduate education and have been associated with a number of advantages and positive outcomes on students' learning experience. However, online resource use by veterinary students for physiology learning remains poorly understood. Thus the present questionnaire-based study aims to investigate the extent to which first- and second-year veterinary students use online resources, including online video clips and social media, in their physiology learning and if this is influenced by factors of age, gender, entry status, or year of study. One-hundred and twenty-two students across seven UK universities completed the survey. Traditional resources (the lecturer and recommended textbooks) were the most preferred sources for physiology learning. Nonetheless, 97.5% of students used Internet search engines to explore physiology topics. Furthermore, students' tendency to contact their instructor regarding a physiology question was low. Rather, 92.6% said they would first search for an answer online. Particularly popular was the use of online video clips with 91.1% finding them valuable for physiology learning and 34.21% finding them more useful for understanding physiology than university taught material or lecture slides. YouTube was the most common online video clip platform used by students. Most students stated that they would enjoy interacting with course materials on an instructor-led social media page, but only 33.9% currently use social media to discuss physiology-related issues with classmates. Additionally, most students expressed concerns regarding the reliability of online resources but attempts to fact-check these resources were relatively low. Therefore, online resources represent an essential part of veterinary students' physiology learning and this suggests that educators can significantly improve student engagement and understanding of physiology by integrating these resources.
    Keywords:  digital literacy; e-learning; online resources; open educational resources; physiology; social media; veterinary education
  3. Int J Med Robot. 2021 Mar 05.
      PURPOSE: To determine web-based public interest in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) specifically for urological oncological surgical procedures and how interest in robotics and laparoscopy compares over time.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Worldwide search-engine trend analysis included electronic Google queries of MIS urologic options from January 2004 to August 2019, worldwide. Join-point regression was performed. Comparison of annual relative search volume (ARSV) and average annual percentage change (AAPC) were analysed to assess loss or gain of interest. Evaluations were made regarding 1) penetrance of interest for MIS in Urology; 2) how MIS urologic procedures compared over time; and 3) which were the top related queries to searches for urologic oncology procedures.
    RESULTS: Increased interest was found for all of the MIS procedures evaluated. Mean ARSV for robotic approach was higher for the search term 'prostatectomy" (44.8 vs. 13.5; p < 0.001) and 'partial nephrectomy" (27.1 vs.11.5; p = 0.02). No statistical difference was found for the search terms 'cystectomy" or 'nephrectomy". The analysis of mean (∆-ARSV) of MIS procedures measured between the first and last 12 months of the study period showed an increased interest with a more pronounced ∆-ARSV for robotic procedures. The top related searches for all surgical procedures were examined showing an increasing inquisitiveness with regards of type of urological cancers, treatment options, type of surgery and prognostic outcomes.
    CONCLUSIONS: People are increasingly searching the web for MIS urological procedures. A growing appeal for robotics is demonstrated, especially for prostatectomy and partial nephrectomy where the robotic approach is gaining traction, suggesting a shift in mind-set amongst people seeking urological healthcare information.
    Keywords:  Google Trends; MIS; laparoscopy; nephrectomy; partial nephrectomy; radical cystectomy; radical prostatectomy; robotics; urology
  4. Support Care Cancer. 2021 Mar 02.
      OBJECTIVE: Cancer patients may turn to social media (SM) to cope with distress. We investigated associations between distress and internet/SM use for cancer information/support.METHODS: Adult patients at a Canadian cancer centre completed a cross-sectional survey on sociodemographics, health status, use of cancer online resources and distress (EQ5D-5L). Statistical models adjusted for relevant variables.
    RESULTS: Of 376 participants, median age was 52 years, time since diagnosis was 1.63 years, 272 (74%) had post-secondary education and 192 (51%) were female. For cancer information/support, 276 (73%) used internet and 147 (39%) SM. Dose response relationships were observed between distress and cancer-related internet (p = 0.02), and SM use (p < 0.001). Respondents using internet/SM for cancer information/support reported greater internet confidence (internet OR = 4.0, 95% CI: 1.9-8.3; SM OR = 4.18, 95%, CI: 1.9-11.3), higher education (internet OR = 3.0, 95% CI: 1.7-5.2; SM OR = 2.21, 95% CI: 1.2-4.1) and were more likely female (internet OR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.5-4.6; SM OR = 2.1, 95% CI: 1.3-3.4). For SM for cancer information/support, more used SM > 30 min daily (OR = 3.4; 95% CI: 2.1-5.7), and were distressed (OR = 1.67, 95% CI: 1.0-2.7). SM benefits were to learn about cancer (93; 25%), distract from cancer (85; 23%) and connect with survivors (81; 22%). SM limitations were privacy (161; 43%), quality (90; 24%) and personal applicability (85; 23%). Females used SM more to connect with survivors than males (p = 0.001).
    CONCLUSIONS: Greater internet confidence, higher education and being female were associated with cancer-related internet/SM use. Distressed cancer patients were also more likely to turn to SM. Privacy concerns may limit SM use for coping. Future research should determine how to optimize SM in caring for and connecting with patients and reduce cancer-related distress.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Cross-sectional survey; Distress; Information; Internet; Social media; Social support
  5. Eat Weight Disord. 2021 Mar 04.
      BACKGROUND: The Internet is increasingly used as a source of information. This study investigates with a multidimensional methodology the quality of information of websites dedicated to obesity treatment and weight-loss interventions. We compared websites in English, a language that it is used for the international scientific divulgation, and in Italian, a popular local language.METHODS: Level of Evidence: Level I, systematic review search on four largely used search engines. Duplicated and unrelated websites were excluded. We checked: popularity with PageRank; technological quality with Nibbler; readability with the Flesch Reading Ease test or the Gulpease readability index; quality of information with the DISCERN scale, the JAMA benchmark criteria, and the adherence to the Health on the Net Code.
    RESULTS: 63 Italian websites and 41 English websites were evaluated. English websites invested more in the technological quality especially for the marketing, experience of the user, and mobile accessibility. Both the Italian and English websites were of poor quality and readability.
    CONCLUSIONS: These results can inform guidelines for the improvement of health information and help Internet users to achieve a higher level of information. Users must find benefits of treatment, support to the shared decision-making, the sources used, the medical editor's supervision, and the risk of postponing the treatment.
    Keywords:  Health literacy; Information dissemination; Internet; Obesity; Quality; Weight-loss
  6. Semin Ophthalmol. 2021 Mar 01. 1-6
      Importance: One of the top ten causes of disability in the United States is vision loss, primarily due to age-related eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. With an aging population, the number of people affected by this condition is expected to rise. Patients increasingly turn to the internet for health-related information, but no standard exists across published websites.Objective: To assess the quality, content, accountability and readability of information found online for age-related macular degeneration.Design: This cross-sectional study analyzed 12 freely available medical sites with information on age-related macular degeneration and used PubMed as a gold standard for comparison. Thirty-four questions were composed to include information most relevant to patients and each website was independently evaluated by one vitreoretinal surgeon, two vitreoretinal fellows and one ophthalmology resident. Readability was analyzed using an online readability tool. The JAMA benchmarks were used to evaluate the accountability of each site.Setting: Freely available online information was used in this study.Results: The average questionnaire score for all websites was 90.23 (SD 17.56, CI 95% ±9.55) out of 136 possible points. There was a significant difference between the content quality of the websites (P = .01). The mean reading grade for all websites was 11.44 (SD 1.75, CI 95% ±0.99). No significant correlation was found between content accuracy and the mean reading grade or Google rank (r = 0.392, P = .207 and r = 0.133, P = .732, respectively). Without including PubMed, only one website achieved the full 4 JAMA benchmarks. There was no correlation between the accuracy of the content of the website and JAMA benchmarks (r = 0.344, P = .273). The interobserver reproducibility was similar among 3 out of 4 observers (r = 0.747 between JS and NT, r = 0.643 between JS and NP, r = 0.686 between NP and NT, r = 0.581 between JS and NY; P ≤ 0.05).Conclusion and Relevance: The freely available information online on age-related macular degeneration varies by source but is generally of low quality. The material presented is difficult to interpret and exceeds the recommended reading level for health information. Most websites reviewed did not provide sufficient information using the grading scheme we used to support the patient in making medical decisions.
    Keywords:  Age-related macular degeneration retina online health information
  7. Rheumatol Int. 2021 Mar 01.
      YouTube is a popular video-sharing platform commonly visited by patients and healthcare professionals for medical information. Gout is the most frequent cause of inflammatory arthritis in adults. However, the accuracy and quality of gout-related information on YouTube are not fully known. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the reliability and quality of YouTube videos pertaining to gout. A YouTube search was conducted using the keywords "gout", "gout arthritis", "gout treatment", and "gout diet". Of the 240 videos screened, 114 that met the inclusion criteria were included in the study. The number of days since upload, number of views, likes, dislikes, comments and duration of the videos were recorded. A Modified DISCERN tool and the Global Quality Scale (GQS) were used to evaluate the reliability and quality of the videos. Of the 114 analyzed videos, 87.72% were deemed as useful while 12.28% contained misleading information with higher viewership. The most common topic was "gout diet". The majority of the videos demonstrated high quality (57.89%), followed by intermediate quality (28.95%) while the percentage of low-quality videos was 13.16%. Videos posted by academic institutions/professional organizations and physicians had higher modified DISCERN and GQS scores indicating higher reliability and quality. This study demonstrated that the majority of YouTube videos on gout provide useful information. However, physicians should be aware of the limited nature of YouTube and correct any misinformation during face-to-face meetings. YouTube should consider avoiding misleading videos using validity scales such as modified DISCERN and GQS.
    Keywords:  Gout; Internet; Quality; Social media; YouTube
  8. Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Feb 19. pii: 229. [Epub ahead of print]9(2):
      (1) Background: Different sources of information are used by the population regarding skin cancer prevention. The pertinent quality of information that can be retrieved via an internet search engine needs assessment; (2) Methods: Four topical searches in common language were entered into Google™. The first 200 "hits" were stored for further use. Eligible websites were evaluated using content-based criteria based on the current German medical guideline "Skin cancer prevention" and employing generic (DISCERN, HONcode) quality criteria. (3) Results: Overlap between the four search results was between 0 and 7 of 200. The completeness of relevant content was scored with a median of 10 points (first quartile (Q1):6; Q3:14) and thus, it was much lower than the theoretical maximum of 43 points. Global quality, with a maximum of 10 points, was 3 in median (Q1:2; Q3:4). Quality and completeness, respectively, were somewhat higher in the higher ranks of search results. The generic quality was moderate. (4) Conclusions: A direct comparison with other sources of information (print, audio-visual, presentation, or personal counselling) is not possible, but important deficits concerning the quality and scope of relevant information on the internet are demonstrated.
    Keywords:  DISCERN; HONcode; information; internet; prevention; skin cancer
  9. Int J Prosthodont. 2021 Feb 26.
      PURPOSE: To evaluate the readability and quality of patient-oriented information online among different common prosthodontic search areas using multiple quality and readability assessment tools.MATERIALS AND METHODS: The prosthodontic keywords most commonly searched by patients on the internet were included. The search was performed through two online search engines (Google and Yahoo) to create the study sample. The first 50 websites listed by each search engine were chosen for each keyword. The quality of each website's information was evaluated using the DISCERN questionnaire and the Health on the Net (HON) criteria. Readability assessment was performed using the Flesch-Kinkaid Reading Grade Level (FKRGL) and the Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES).
    RESULTS: A total of 225 websites were included in the study. The median score for the DISCERN instrument indicated poor information quality. A significant difference was found between the educational and commercial websites in both quality and readability. Overall, the median readability indices showed that the websites' information was difficult to read.
    CONCLUSION: Internet-based health information on different prosthodontic treatments is difficult to read and poor in quality and readability. It is necessary for health care providers to establish and promote websites that have reliable, high-quality information about common prosthodontic treatments.
  10. Investig Clin Urol. 2021 Mar;62(2): 180-185
      PURPOSE: To evaluate the quality of videos for retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS) on YouTube (Google, LLC) from the perspective of both patients and physicians.MATERIALS AND METHODS: All videos longer than 2 minutes returned by the YouTube search engine in response to the keyword search "retrograde intrarenal surgery" were included in this study. The quality of content was analyzed by using the validated Journal of the American Medical Association Benchmark Score (JAMAS) and the Global Quality Score (GQS). Two surgeons developed the RIRS Scoring System (RIRSSS) to evaluate the technical quality of the videos. A video power index (VPI) was used to score the popularity of the videos.
    RESULTS: A total of 63 videos with a median of 389 views were included in the present study. Forty-three videos (68.3%) were provided by health care professionals and 53 videos (84.1%) included technical aspects about RIRS. The median (interquartile range) GQS, JAMAS, RIRSSS, and VPI scores were 2 (1-3), 1 (1-2), 2 (1-5), and 0.41 (0.08-1.29), respectively. Videos with audio had significantly higher GQS and RIRSSS scores than did with videos with no audio (p<0.001, p=0.039, respectively). The GQS of videos providing general information about RIRS was higher, whereas RIRSSS scores were higher for videos detailing technical aspects (p=0.027, p=0.038, respectively).
    CONCLUSIONS: The quality of YouTube videos containing information about RIRS evaluated in this study was very low. It is necessary for health care organizations to prepare online materials and upload these materials to popular social media platforms to convey accurate information to patients.
    Keywords:  Lithotripsy, laser; Nephrolithiasis; Ureteroscopy; Webcast
  11. J Rural Health. 2021 Mar 05.
      PURPOSE: Because rural residents, particularly those near mining sites, are susceptible to numerous environmental health hazards, it is important to gain deeper insights into their use and trust of health information, which they may employ to help recognize symptoms, learn ways to reduce exposure, or find health care.METHODS: We surveyed residents (N = 101) of rural Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia to assess predictors of health information source use and trust. A project manager administered face-to-face paper and pencil questionnaires assessing demographics, health status, smoking behavior, and health information use and source trust. Bivariate correlations and ordinary least squares regressions were used to analyze the data.
    FINDINGS: The data suggest that rural individuals frequently use nurses, doctors, and websites to seek health information, whereas traditional media are often not their preferred channel for health information. Media sources were not found as trustworthy as interpersonal and medical health information sources. While only 13.0% of individuals in the sample said they ever turned to county or state health departments for health information, these sources were trusted more than any media source and more than friends. Moreover, living closer to active mining sites-meaning these individuals are at a higher risk of environmental health hazards-predicted even less use of traditional media and greater trust in peer sources.
    CONCLUSIONS: Not all sources of health information are equally used or trusted by individuals from a rural disparities population. The findings have implications for health campaign message dissemination and intervention designs targeting individuals in rural Appalachia.
    Keywords:  health disparities; psychology; technology
  12. Ulster Med J. 2021 Jan;90(1): 7-9
      INTRODUCTION: Possibly In the UK there are currently over 26,000 patients admitted to hospital for acute pancreatitis per annum and the incidence is rising. 55% of patients consult the internet for information regarding their medical condition. As the number of people using the internet has increased 57% since 2006, it is increasingly important for medical professionals to direct patients to accurate online sources of information. This paper aims to evaluate the quality of information available online for acute pancreatitis.METHODS: The term 'acute pancreatitis' was searched using,, and The top 10 results of each of these websites were assessed using the University of Michigan consumer health website evaluation checklist.
    RESULTS: Of the 30 websites found, 4 were excluded from the evaluation. Within the 26 evaluated websites there was high variability in website quality. However, the authors would have used 18 of the websites again for the purpose of finding out information on acute pancreatitis. 15 websites had a named author of which 11 displayed their credentials. 8 of the websites had been updated within the last year. 10 websites displayed a bias or conflict of interest. Generally, the layout and design of websites was good, however 7 of the websites contained distracting graphics and 9 of the websites had no search facility.
    DISCUSSION: Doctors should give patients the information they want and need. With a high percentage of patients using the internet, medical professionals should recommend good quality websites to their patients. Engaging in this process could improve the consenting process as patients would be better informed. Good quality websites allows patients to explore conditions by themselves, with a re-consultation facilitating further discussion. Failure to engage in internet-based information risks patients making misinformed decisions due to bias and conflict of interest.
  13. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2021 Mar 02. 21(1): 81
      BACKGROUND: Retrieving gene and disease information from a vast collection of biomedical abstracts to provide doctors with clinical decision support is one of the important research directions of Precision Medicine.METHOD: We propose a novel article retrieval method based on expanded word and co-word analyses, also conducting Cuckoo Search to optimize parameters of the retrieval function. The main goal is to retrieve the abstracts of biomedical articles that refer to treatments. The methods mentioned in this manuscript adopt the BM25 algorithm to calculate the score of abstracts. We, however, propose an improved version of BM25 that computes the scores of expanded words and co-word leading to a composite retrieval function, which is then optimized using the Cuckoo Search. The proposed method aims to find both disease and gene information in the abstract of the same biomedical article. This is to achieve higher relevance and hence score of articles. Besides, we investigate the influence of different parameters on the retrieval algorithm and summarize how they meet various retrieval needs.
    RESULTS: The data used in this manuscript is sourced from medical articles presented in Text Retrieval Conference (TREC): Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Tracks of 2017, 2018, and 2019 in Precision Medicine. A total of 120 topics are tested. Three indicators are employed for the comparison of utilized methods, which are selected among the ones based only on the BM25 algorithm and its improved version to conduct comparable experiments. The results showed that the proposed algorithm achieves better results.
    CONCLUSION: The proposed method, an improved version of the BM25 algorithm, utilizes both co-word implementation and Cuckoo Search, which has been verified achieving better results on a large number of experimental sets. Besides, a relatively simple query expansion method is implemented in this manuscript. Future research will focus on ontology and semantic networks to expand the query vocabulary.
    Keywords:  Clinical decision support; Co-word analysis; Cuckoo Search; Improved BM25; Information retrieval; Precision Medicine