bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2021‒04‒04
twelve papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Syst Rev. 2021 Apr 01. 10(1): 93
      BACKGROUND: Systematic reviews and meta-analyses provide the highest level of evidence to help inform policy and practice, yet their rigorous nature is associated with significant time and economic demands. The screening of titles and abstracts is the most time consuming part of the review process with analysts required review thousands of articles manually, taking on average 33 days. New technologies aimed at streamlining the screening process have provided initial promising findings, yet there are limitations with current approaches and barriers to the widespread use of these tools. In this paper, we introduce and report initial evidence on the utility of Research Screener, a semi-automated machine learning tool to facilitate abstract screening.METHODS: Three sets of analyses (simulation, interactive and sensitivity) were conducted to provide evidence of the utility of the tool through both simulated and real-world examples.
    RESULTS: Research Screener delivered a workload saving of between 60 and 96% across nine systematic reviews and two scoping reviews. Findings from the real-world interactive analysis demonstrated a time saving of 12.53 days compared to the manual screening, which equates to a financial saving of USD 2444. Conservatively, our results suggest that analysts who scan 50% of the total pool of articles identified via a systematic search are highly likely to have identified 100% of eligible papers.
    CONCLUSIONS: In light of these findings, Research Screener is able to reduce the burden for researchers wishing to conduct a comprehensive systematic review without reducing the scientific rigour for which they strive to achieve.
    Keywords:  Abstract screening; Automation; Machine learning; Systematic reviews
  2. Health Promot Pract. 2021 Mar 31. 15248399211001064
      Public library programs and services offer opportunities to help immigrants navigate daily life in unfamiliar surroundings and a new language. For example, language classes address the social determinants of health as they encourage social participation and community ties and help develop friendships. The purpose of this research was to conduct a narrative literature review to understand how immigrants use public libraries and how public library services influence the social determinants of health for immigrant populations. Keyword searches were conducted on five databases to identify research papers that met the inclusion criteria: empirical studies published in English between 2000 and 2020 related to immigrants' use of public libraries. Thirty-one articles were included in the analysis. Thematic coding identified cross-cutting themes within the sample using the framework of the social-ecological model. Immigrants commonly use public libraries for programs (e.g., language learning), collections (e.g., borrowing books), and services (e.g., asking librarians questions). Immigrant patrons often reported satisfaction with library programs, services, and collections in the language of the host country. A frequent criticism was the relevance and accessibility of collections in their heritage language. In addition, library staff demographics often did not reflect those of immigrant patrons. Health-enhancing benefits associated with library use included increased confidence and self-esteem, cultural integration and preservation, trust and relationships (e.g., making friends), community awareness and engagement, and political integration. Future research and practice areas include collaboration between public health and library professionals to develop library programming that maximizes health and well-being among immigrants.
    Keywords:  access to health care; international/cross-cultural health; minority health; social determinants of health
  3. Health Info Libr J. 2021 Apr 03.
      BACKGROUND: Evidence-based practice requires health professionals to recognise situations of uncertainty in their practice, translate that uncertainty into answerable questions, and find and appraise information relevant to those questions. No research to date has explored the research-based information needs of allied health professionals (AHPs) in regional and rural Australia.OBJECTIVE: To examine the information-seeking experiences and needs of AHPs in regional and rural Australia.
    METHODS: A total of 80 AHPs, predominantly occupational therapists and physiotherapists, practising in regional and rural areas of Australia completed an online survey.
    RESULTS: Almost all respondents reported having questions requiring research evidence, but most of their questions were worded non-specifically. Respondents practising in rural areas had greater perceived difficulty in obtaining relevant evidence than their regional counterparts. Many respondents reported wanting additional support to find relevant research evidence.
    DISCUSSION: The findings offer insights regarding information-seeking challenges AHPs face and potential solutions, including improved training and increased health librarian support. However, due to sampling limitations, the results cannot be generalised to all allied health professions.
    CONCLUSION: Allied health professionals may require more training and support to engage in efficient and effective information-seeking behaviours. Health librarians have a valuable role to play in providing this training and support.
    Keywords:  Australia; allied health; continuing professional development; evidence based practice (EBP); health care; health information needs; health professionals; information seeking behaviour; information services; information skills; librarians; libraries; library services
  4. Database (Oxford). 2021 Mar 31. pii: baab015. [Epub ahead of print]2021
      Finding relevant information from newly published scientific papers is becoming increasingly difficult due to the pace at which articles are published every year as well as the increasing amount of information per paper. Biocuration and model organism databases provide a map for researchers to navigate through the complex structure of the biomedical literature by distilling knowledge into curated and standardized information. In addition, scientific search engines such as PubMed and text-mining tools such as Textpresso allow researchers to easily search for specific biological aspects from newly published papers, facilitating knowledge transfer. However, digesting the information returned by these systems-often a large number of documents-still requires considerable effort. In this paper, we present Wormicloud, a new tool that summarizes scientific articles in a graphical way through word clouds. This tool is aimed at facilitating the discovery of new experimental results not yet curated by model organism databases and is designed for both researchers and biocurators. Wormicloud is customized for the Caenorhabditis  elegans literature and provides several advantages over existing solutions, including being able to perform full-text searches through Textpresso, which provides more accurate results than other existing literature search engines. Wormicloud is integrated through direct links from gene interaction pages in WormBase. Additionally, it allows analysis on the gene sets obtained from literature searches with other WormBase tools such as SimpleMine and Gene Set Enrichment. Database URL:
  5. BMJ Evid Based Med. 2021 Mar 30. pii: bmjebm-2020-111652. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVES: Systematic reviews are often considered among the highest quality of evidence. Completely reported systematic reviews, however, are required so readers can assess for generalisability of the research to practice and risk of bias. The objective of this study was to assess the completeness of reporting for systematic reviews assessing the diagnostic accuracy of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses for Diagnostic Test Accuracy (PRISMA-DTA) checklist that was published in 2018.DESIGN AND SETTING: In this meta-research study, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases were searched, with no date restriction, on March 1st, 2020 for systematic reviews assessing the diagnostic accuracy of POCUS. Adherence to PRISMA-DTA for the main text and abstract was scored independently and in duplicate using a modified checklist. Prespecified subgroup analyses were performed.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was the mean PRISMA-DTA checklist adherence for the full-text and abstract.
    RESULTS: A total of 71 studies published from 2008 to 2020 met the inclusion criteria. The overall adherence for the full-text was moderate: 19.8 out of 26.0 items (76%) and for the abstract was 7.0 out of 11.0 items (64%). Although many items in the PRISMA-DTA checklist were frequently reported, several were r infrequently reported (<33% of studies), including item 5 (protocol registration), item D2 (minimally acceptable test accuracy) and item 14 (variability in target condition, index test and reference standards). Subgroup analyses showed a higher PRISMA-DTA mean adherence (SD) for high impact journals (20.9 (2.52) vs 18.9 (1.95); p<0.001), studies including supplemental materials (20.6 (2.48) vs 18.9 (2.28); p=0.004), studies citing adherence to PRISMA reporting guidelines (20.4 (1.95) vs 19.0 (3.00); p=0.038) and studies published in journals endorsing PRISMA guidelines (20.2 (2.47) vs 18.6 (2.37); p=0.025). There was variable adherence based on journal of publication (p=0.006), but not for study population (adult vs paediatric vs mixed) (p=0.62), year of publication (p=0.94), body region (p=0.78) or country (p=0.40). There was no variability in abstract adherence based on whether the abstract was structured with subheadings or not (p=0.25). A Spearman's correlation found moderate correlation between higher word counts and abstractand full-text adherence (R=0.45, p<0.001 and R=0.38, p=0.001), respectively.
    CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the reporting of POCUS diagnostic accuracy systematic reviews and meta-analyses was moderate. We identified deficits in several key areas including the preregistration of systematic reviews in an online repository, handling of multiple definitions of target conditions, index tests and reference standards and specifying minimally acceptable test accuracy. Prospective registration of reviews and detailed reporting as per PRISMA-DTA during the research process could improve reporting completeness. At an editorial level, word count and supplemental material limitations may impede reporting completeness, whereas endorsement of reporting guidelines on journal websites could improve reporting.
    Keywords:  emergency medicine; radiology
  6. Cogn Res Princ Implic. 2021 Mar 31. 6(1): 23
      College students lack fact-checking skills, which may lead them to accept information at face value. We report findings from an institution participating in the Digital Polarization Initiative (DPI), a national effort to teach students lateral reading strategies used by expert fact-checkers to verify online information. Lateral reading requires users to leave the information (website) to find out whether someone has already fact-checked the claim, identify the original source, or learn more about the individuals or organizations making the claim. Instructor-matched sections of a general education civics course implemented the DPI curriculum (N = 136 students) or provided business-as-usual civics instruction (N = 94 students). At posttest, students in DPI sections were more likely to use lateral reading to fact-check and correctly evaluate the trustworthiness of information than controls. Aligning with the DPI's emphasis on using Wikipedia to investigate sources, students in DPI sections reported greater use of Wikipedia at posttest than controls, but did not differ significantly in their trust of Wikipedia. In DPI sections, students who failed to read laterally at posttest reported higher trust of Wikipedia at pretest than students who read at least one problem laterally. Responsiveness to the curriculum was also linked to numbers of online assignments attempted, but unrelated to pretest media literacy knowledge, use of lateral reading, or self-reported use of lateral reading. Further research is needed to determine whether improvements in lateral reading are maintained over time and to explore other factors that might distinguish students whose skills improved after instruction from non-responders.
    Keywords:  College students; Fact-checking instruction; Lateral reading; Media literacy; Wikipedia
  7. Urology. 2021 Mar 25. pii: S0090-4295(21)00266-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the readability, quality, and accuracy of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) YouTube transcripts.METHODS: We analyzed the readability of written transcripts for the first 100 YouTube videos about "Pelvic Organ Prolapse." Transcripts were excluded if they lacked narration in English or contained both no text and no audio. Readability was evaluated using an online software ( to determine reading grade levels. The quality of videos was scored using the DISCERN quality criteria and the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT). Accuracy was assessed by comparing content to accepted POP treatment guidelines.
    RESULTS: The median grade level of all 100 videos was 12.6. High quality transcripts or transcripts that discuss the benefits, risk, alternative treatments, and quality of life had a median readability score of 12.5. Transcripts with low misinformation (85%) had a higher median readability index (12.6), than transcripts containing high misinformation (12.2). More than 20% of transcripts discussed shared decision making. The median readability index for videos with a high PEMAT score (> 75%) for understandability and actionability were both 12.6.
    CONCLUSIONS: Transcripts of POP YouTube videos are written at difficult levels with many transcripts exceeding the reading capabilities of the American population. The majority of good transcripts or transcripts with high quality content, low misinformation, shared decision making, no commercial bias, and understandable and actionable content were written at a high school level or above. Efforts should be made to avoid complex terms when creating patient focused content and helping patients navigate to content of appropriate literacy online.
    Keywords:  Pelvic Organ Prolapse; Readability; Social Media; YouTube
  8. JMIR Hum Factors. 2021 Mar 29. 8(1): e20721
      BACKGROUND: As the public increasingly uses the internet to search for resources and information regarding health and medicine, it is important that health care organizations provide adequate web resources. Website usability refers to the ease of user experience on a website. In this study, we conducted usability analyses on digital health center websites.OBJECTIVE: The primary aims of this study were to (1) replicate a preexisting usability scoring methodology for digital health centers; (2) apply and test this replicated usability scoring methodology on a sample set of digital health center websites; and (3) derive recommendations from the results on potential areas of improvements for our sample of digital health center websites.
    METHODS: Website usability testing was conducted from March 1, 2020, to March 15, 2020. We replicated a methodology and scoring system from previous literature and applied them to digital health center websites. Our sample included 67 digital health centers that were affiliated with US universities or hospital systems. Usability was split into the following four broad categories: accessibility, marketing, content quality, and technology. Usability tools were used to score websites in each of the four categories. The composite of the key factors of each category was used to generate a general usability and overall usability score for each website.
    RESULTS: The category with the highest average score (6.3) was content quality. The content quality score also had the highest SD (2.18) and an SE of 0.27. The lowest performing category was technology, which had an average score of 0.9. The technology score also had the smallest SD (0.07) and an SE of 0.01.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that content quality, on average, was the highest scoring variable among digital health center websites. As content is crucial to digital health knowledge, it is justified that digital health centers invest more resources into creating quality content. The overall lowest scoring variable was technology. Potential reasons for this finding include designated funding for servers, a lack of regulatory frameworks for social media presence and liability, and infrequent website audits. An easy approach for improving this variable is increasing website speed. Accessibility is another area that organizations can potentially improve. We recommend that these organizations perform periodic audits of their web presence with usability tools.
    Keywords:  digital health; digital health care; health care website; usability testing; web crawler; web interventions; website usability
  9. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2021 ;15 635-644
      Background: Patients are frequently provided with medicine information materials (MIMs). Rendering medicine information through written material is a reliable method. Readability is an important attribute of written material that can affect the reader's ability to comprehend. Patient's perception can also affect the comprehensibility of written MIMs.Objective: The objectives of the study were to assess the readability of medicine information in Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH); and assessing patients' perception and understanding of medicine information materials.
    Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted from September 21, 2019 to November 24, 2020, at TASH. Quantitative and qualitative data collection approaches were used in this research. The readability value of each material was determined in accordance with the Flesch Reading ease scores (FRE) and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL). The tools compute readability based on an average number of syllables per word and an average number of words per sentence. FRE provides scores from 0 to 100; higher scores mean easily comprehensible while FKGL sets grade levels for written texts. A structured interview was administered with questions about how MIMs had been used, and was analyzed qualitatively.
    Results: The results of this research showed low readability scores of MIMs found in TASH. Most patients do not get MIMs and are unaware of how to use them. They are interested to receive and read medicines information from pharmacists and physicians. Moreover, most of them preferred information through both verbal and written forms.
    Conclusion: The readability levels of selected MIMs obtained from TASH are found to be not compliant with the patients' needs. This might be worsening their health outcomes and resulting in poorer use of healthcare services.
    Keywords:  Flesch readability formula; Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital; information; medicine; readability; reading grade level
  10. Arch Dis Child. 2021 Mar 30. pii: archdischild-2020-320007. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common behavioural disorders, affecting around 5% of the global population. Methylphenidate is recommended as the first-line drug treatment for ADHD for children over the age of 5 in the UK. It can have many side effects and it is important that families are well informed. Other than their healthcare professionals and friends, the major information source for families is the internet.AIMS: To evaluate the validity of online information regarding the adverse effects of methylphenidate.
    METHODS: Side-effects of methylphenidate hydrochloride listed in the British National Formulary for Children (BNFC) were taken as the 'gold standard' and compared with online websites for accuracy. The first 10 websites found on each of nine different search engines were used as comparators.
    RESULTS: From the 90 hits, 10 top hits found in each of 9 search engines, 25 unique websites were identified. A quarter (six sites; 24%) documented only side-effects that all appeared in the BNFC. Three quarters (19 websites; 76%) had at least one side-effect that did not appear in the BNFC; with six websites documenting more than five side-effects not found in the BNFC.
    CONCLUSIONS: Methylphenidate's frequent use makes it important that the general public are provided with accurate, reliable and easily accessible information. Most websites have dependable quality information on side effects, but several seem to list excessive side-effects.
    Keywords:  adolescent health; data collection; information technology; statistics
  11. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(3): e0249400
      BACKGROUND: Inequalities in health information seeking behaviors (HISBs) using mass media and internet websites (web 1.0) are well documented. Little is known about web 2.0 such as social networking sites (SNS) and instant messaging (IM) and experiences of HISBs.METHODS: We surveyed representative Hong Kong Chinese adults (N = 10143, 54.9% female; 72.3% aged 25-64 years) on frequency of HISBs using traditional sources, internet websites, SNS (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), and IM (e.g., WhatsApp, WeChat) and experiences measured using Information Seeking Experience Scale. Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) for HISBs and experiences by sociodemographic and health-related characteristics were yielded using multivariable Poisson regression with robust variance estimators. aPRs for experiences by HISBs using internet websites, SNS, and IM adjusting for sociodemographic and health-related characteristics were also yielded.
    RESULTS: Being female, higher educational attainment, not smoking, and being physically active were associated with HISBs using any source (all P<0.05). Older age had decreased aPRs for HISBs using traditional sources (P for trend = 0.03), internet websites (P for trend<0.001), and SNS (P for trend<0.001) but not for IM (aged 45-64 years: aPR = 1.48, 95% CI 1.07, 2.03). Lower educational attainment and income were associated with negative experiences including feelings of effort and difficulties in understanding the information (all P for trend<0.05). Older age had increased aPRs for difficulties in understanding the information (P for trend = 0.003). Compared with internet websites, HISBs using IM was associated with feelings of frustration (aPR = 1.39, 95% CI 1.08, 1.79), difficulties in understanding the information (aPR = 1.36, 95% CI 1.12, 1.65), and quality concern (aPR = 1.20, 95% CI 1.08, 1.32).
    CONCLUSIONS: We identified correlates of web-based health information seeking and experiences in Hong Kong Chinese adults. Providing greater access to and improved information environment of web 2.0 to the target groups may help address digital inequalities.
  12. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Mar 04. pii: 2541. [Epub ahead of print]18(5):
      The Internet is a common source of health information as search engines propose websites that should answer users' queries. The study aimed to investigate the search behavior of Google users related to skin clinical signs as well as to analyze their geographical, secular, and seasonal patterns. The data of Google Trends was used to analyze the number of Google searches related to skin problems from January 2004 to December 2019. Thirty-four topics representing dermatologic complaints were identified. The interests of all topics were calculated in proportion to the Relative Search Volume (RSV) of 'Scar'. Geographical patterns as well as secular and seasonal trends were analyzed. Countries with few users who searched for skin problems were excluded from the analysis. Globally, gaining the most attention were 'Itch' proportion to RSV of 'Itch' (2.21), 'Hair loss' (1.56), 'Skin rash' (1.38), 'Perspiration' (1.32), and 'Scar' (1.00). In 42 of the 65 analyzed countries, 'Itch' was the most popular topic, followed by 'Hair loss' (n = 7), and 'Pustule' (n = 6). The RSV of all topics increases over time, with 'Comedo' (5.15 RSV/year), 'Itch' (4.83 RSV/year), and 'Dandruff' (4.66 RSV/year) being the most dynamic ones. For 23 topics, the highest interest was noted during warm months. Considering skin manifestations, Google users are mainly interested in itch, hair loss, and skin rash. An increasing number of individuals worldwide seem to use Google as a source of health information for dermatological clinical signs during the study period.
    Keywords:  Google Trends; Internet; infodemiology; perspiration; pruritus; skin manifestations