bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2021‒06‒13
thirteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 2021 Jun;71(6): 243-255
      Investigation of cyberchondria is still in its infancy. Preliminary research suggests that cyberchondria is likely to represent a distinct behavioral syndrome which is closely associated with health anxiety/hypochondria and extensive online searching for health information and/or digital self-tracking. The internet is characterized by anonymous, readily, convenient space-time-independent accessibility and availability of an almost unmanageable amount of information that may increase the reassurance-seeking safety behavior of individuals with heightened health anxiety. Cyberchondria also appears to be related to low self-esteem, anxiety sensitivity, intolerance of uncertainty, compulsivity and metacognitive beliefs. At present, it is unclear of whether individuals with cyberchondria suffer from extensive health-related online searching behavior only or also from other forms of internet use disorders. The link between cyberchondria and e-health literacy, defined as perceived skills at finding, evaluating, and applying online health information to health problems, is poorly recognized. At present, there are no standardized therapeutic interventions for cyberchondria available. Treatment should address the maladaptive health- or illness-related assumptions and beliefs by using existing, well established approaches for hypochondria. Furthermore, it should target the problematic internet use and enable individuals with cyberchondria to reflect their subjective e-health literacy and promote a functional use of health resources from the internet.
  2. Nature. 2020 Jun 09.
    Keywords:  Computer science; Databases; Publishing; SARS-CoV-2
  3. Patient Educ Couns. 2021 May 30. pii: S0738-3991(21)00395-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: Vaccine hesitancy is a problem attracting growing attention and concern. Communication can be an effective tool to counteract vaccine hesitancy and promote optimal vaccine uptake. Readability has been recognized as one of the more important aspects of health communication for achieving good health literacy. We reviewed studies of readability assessment in the area of vaccine communication.METHODS: We conducted a systematic literature search in September 2020, using four online databases (Medline, CINAHL, PsycArticles, and PsycINFO). We included studies that assessed the readability level of online and offline vaccine information materials.
    RESULTS: We found 12 articles that were appropriate for inclusion. Ten of the studies were published after 2016. The readability levels of the majority of the materials assessed were found to be difficult and higher than 8th-grade level.
    CONCLUSION: Readability assessments of vaccine information are scarce. The limited evidence shows that the readability level of vaccine information supplied by health care providers is more difficult to read than recommended. More studies on the readability of vaccine information are recommended.
    PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Difficulty reading vaccine information may influence attitudes toward acceptance of or hesitancy to take vaccines. It is recommended that health care professionals use guidelines and tools to create easy-to-read vaccine information.
    Keywords:  Health communication; Health literacy; Immunization; Patient education handout; Processing fluency; Readability; Vaccination; Vaccine hesitancy; Written health information
  4. J Clin Epidemiol. 2021 Jun 03. pii: S0895-4356(21)00171-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: We aimed to map the resource use during systematic review (SR) production and reasons why steps of the SR production are resource intensive to discover where the largest gain in improving efficiency might be possible.STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We conducted a scoping review. An information specialist searched multiple databases (e.g., Ovid MEDLINE, Scopus) and implemented citation-based and grey literature searching. We employed dual and independent screenings of records at the title/abstract and full-text levels and data extraction.
    RESULTS: We included 34 studies. Thirty-two reported on the resource use-mostly time; four described reasons why steps of the review process are resource intensive. Study selection, data extraction, and critical appraisal seem to be very resource intensive, while protocol development, literature search, or study retrieval take less time. Project management and administration required a large proportion of SR production time. Lack of experience, domain knowledge, use of collaborative and SR-tailored software, and good communication and management can be reasons why SR steps are resource intensive.
    CONCLUSION: Resource use during SR production varies widely. Areas with the largest resource use are administration and project management, study selection, data extraction, and critical appraisal of studies.
    Keywords:  costs; efficient; evidence synthesis; personnel; resources; time
  5. Heart Lung. 2021 Jun 01. pii: S0147-9563(21)00162-X. [Epub ahead of print]50(5): 615-617
    Keywords:  Critical appraisal; Data extraction; Evidence synthesis; Meta-analysis; Systematic review
  6. Health Info Libr J. 2021 Jun 07.
      BACKGROUND: The increasing incidence of cancer among young adults (18-40 years old) is of concern in China.OBJECTIVES: This study aims to examine the influence of cancer information-seeking behaviours (CISB) on young adults' worries about cancer and participation in screening.
    METHODS: This study analysed data from two probability sample surveys conducted in 2012 and 2017 in China. The questions in the questionnaire remained the same for better comparison. The sample size was 1212 in the 2012 survey, and 2178 in the 2017 survey.
    RESULTS: From 2012 to 2017, among young adults, there was a decline in cancer information seeking, diversity of cancer information sought and cancer worry, while an improvement in cancer information-seeking experience was found. Also, CISB had significant associations with cancer worry and health screening over the 5 years.
    DISCUSSION: The level of young adults' cancer information seeking remains low in China, and this group is not fully aware of their potential risks of getting cancer.
    CONCLUSION: Although young adults find the experience of looking for cancer information easier in 2017, health campaigns may be necessary to encourage young adults to find out more about their cancer risks, and to participate more in health screening.
    Keywords:  China; adults; health literacy; information-seeking behaviour; patient education
  7. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021 Jun 07. 21(1): 559
      BACKGROUND: To stimulate quality through choice of provider, patients need to seek and base their decisions on both relevant and reliable information describing providers' clinical quality. The purpose of this study was first to investigate what types of information and information sources patients turned to in the active choice of primary care provider. Second, it investigated whether a sub-group of patients considered more likely to actively seek information, also sought more advanced information about the clinical quality of providers.METHODS: Data collection was performed through a web-based survey to the general adult (18+) Swedish population, for a net sample of 3150 respondents. Descriptive statistics were used to study what types of information and information sources respondents used prior to their choice. Multiple regression analysis was employed to examine predictors for seeking relevant and reliable information describing providers' clinical quality.
    RESULTS: Patients in active choice situations searched for a median of four information types and used a median of one information source. The information searched for was primarily basic information, for instance, how to switch providers and their geographical location. Information sources used were mainly partisan sources, such as providers themselves, and family and acquaintances. The sub-group of individuals more likely to seek information were not found to seek more advanced forms of information.
    CONCLUSIONS: Not even the patients considered most likely to seek information prior to their choice of primary care provider, searched for information deemed necessary to make well-informed choices. Thus, patients did not act according to the theoretical assumptions underlying the patient choice reforms, i.e., making informed choices based on clinical quality in order to promote the best providers over inferior ones. The results call for governments and health care authorities to actively assess and develop primary care providers' clinical quality by means other than patient choice.
    Keywords:  Information search; Patient choice; Primary care; Provider choice; Public reporting
  8. J Foot Ankle Surg. 2021 May 10. pii: S1067-2516(21)00167-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      The Internet is utilized now more than ever to research medical conditions and treatments by patients and physicians alike. The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality and readability of information available online for plantar fasciitis. Web sites were identified using the search term "plantar fasciitis." The first 25 Web sites from 5 different search engines gave a total of 125 being evaluated. Readability of each Web site was assessed using the Flesch Reading Ease score, the Flesch-Kincaid grade level, and the Gunning Fog Index. Quality was assessed using the DISCERN instrument ( and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria. The presence of Health on the Net (HON) code certification was also assessed. The authorship of each Web site was categorized into 1 of 5 categories (Physician, Academic, Commercial, Allied health or Other eg, blogs). A total of 83 Web site pages were evaluated with the majority of the web sites being authored by physicians (32.53%) and blogs (25.30%). Only 24 Web sites were HON certified (28.91%). Physician and Academic Web sites were the most credible sources, with the highest mean DISCERN (p = .00001) and JAMA (p = .0278.) scores, respectively. These Web sites were also the most difficult to read according to the readability score testing. The information available on the Internet pertaining to plantar fasciitis is highly variable and provides moderate quality information about treatment choices. Given this variability in quality, health care providers should direct patients to known sources of reliable, readable online information.
    Keywords:  HON code; Internet; Web sites; health education; health literacy; plantar fasciitis
  9. Cartilage. 2021 Jun 10. 19476035211021910
      OBJECTIVE: Patients frequently use the internet as a source to obtain health information. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the quality and readability of online resources on the diagnosis and treatment of ankle osteochondral lesions (OCLs).DESIGN: Three search terms ("ankle cartilage defect," "cartilage injury," "ankle cartilage damage") were entered into 3 search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing). The first 20 websites from each search was collected excluding websites intended for health care providers. The quality of the websites were evaluated using the DISCERN instrument, JAMA benchmark, and a Quality rating criteria specific to ankle OCL. The readability was assessed using Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL). Statistical analysis was performed using one-way analysis of variance.
    RESULTS: A total of 41 websites were reviewed. The mean quality ratings were poor across the assessment tools: DISCERN = 38.5 ± 9.0 (range, 23.7-56.7) out of 80; JAMA = 1.0 ± 1.1 (range, 0-3.3) out of 4; and Quality rating criteria = 11.3 ± 4.6 (range, 4-20.7) out of 24. The mean FRE and FKGL were 40.7 ± 32.0 (range, -152.3 to 60.2) and 13.5 ± 10.8 (range, 8.4-80.7), respectively; higher than the recommended reading level for patients (fifth grade).
    CONCLUSIONS: The quality and readability of credible sources for ankle OCL were poor, which could lead to misinformation. This study should guide the improvement of online information on ankle OCL.
    Keywords:  ankle; articular cartilage; osteochondral lesion; patient education
  10. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2021 Jun 01. pii: S0303-8467(21)00252-3. [Epub ahead of print]207 106723
      AIM: YouTube (YT) is not only a source of entertainment but also, a popular source of medical knowledge. Our goal was to evaluate the quality of videos concerning arteriovenous malformations (AVM) available on YT.MATERIALS AND METHODS: A YT search was conducted for the terms "Arteriovenous malformation", "AV malformations", "Intracranial AVM", "Cerebral AVM"," Brain AVM" and "Pial AVM." The first 70 videos for each search were evaluated and yielded 122 unique videos after the exclusion was applied. The videos were examined by two independent Raters using a validated quality criteria such as the Quality Criteria for Consumer Health Information (DISCERN), the Journal of the American Medical Association instrument (JAMA), and the Global Quality Score (GQS).
    RESULTS: The mean DISCERN score was 30 out of 75 possible points, with an intraclass correlation coefficient for the absolute agreement of 0.98, indicating an excellent interrater reliability. Most videos were produced in the United States (51.6%) and were uploaded by educational channels. Videos had statistically higher DISCERN, JAMA, and GQS scores when they presented clear information, AVM symptoms, angioarchitecture, AVMs with concomitant aneurysms, risks of bleeding, Spetzler-Martin Grading, treatment information, treatment risks, treatment results, follow-up, diagrams, and a doctor as a speaker. Videos that featured animations observed higher popularity as indicated by the Video Power Index (VPI) and observed a higher DISCERN and GQS score. Videos with the overall highest VPI generated poor DISCERN scores.
    CONCLUSIONS: YT does not provide high content quality medical information regarding AVMs and, in some cases, offer misleading information.
    Keywords:  Arteriovenous malformations; DISCERN scores; Internet; Neurosurgery; Online learning
  11. Int J Audiol. 2021 Jun 09. 1-8
      OBJECTIVE: Adult cochlear implant (CI) candidates seeking to make an informed decision about cochlear implantation can find themselves needing to quickly understand large volumes of complex information provided by different professionals in different formats. This study investigates the suitability, within a health literacy context, of one of those sources of information: the CI brochure.DESIGN: A single-observation design.
    STUDY SAMPLE: Thirty English passages of approximately 100-words each were sampled from 15 sections of seven CI brochures. All brochures were readily available to the general public on the Australian websites of four CI manufacturers at the time of the analysis (June 2019).
    RESULTS: Analyses by two examiners using the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM) classified all 15 sections from all seven CI brochures as being "not suitable" for general, adult readers. Analyses by the same examiners using four readability formulae (Flesch Reading Ease Scale, Fry Readability Graph, Flesch-Kincaid Readability Formula, and the Fog index) showed sampled passages from the 15 sections were written at a level best suited for persons with 10 to 14 years of schooling.
    CONCLUSIONS: Brochures intended for adult CI candidates should be revised to improve their suitability and readability for adult CI candidates. Specific recommendations are suggested.
    Keywords:  Cochlear implants; cochlear implant brochures; health information materials; readability; suitability
  12. Health Psychol Behav Med. 2021 Feb 11. 9(1): 104-127
      Background: Infertility is a challenging experience associated with high levels of psychological distress. Many people seeking fertility services use the internet to obtain information about their conditions and treatments.Objectives: This mixed-methods study aimed to describe the information-seeking experience of people seeking fertility services with respect to the fulfillment of their individually defined information needs and explore relationships between the fulfillment of information needs and psychological outcomes.
    Methods: One hundred and four participants completed a survey with close-ended and open-ended questions about their experience using an informational web-based application (app) called 'Infotility' and about their mental well-being before and after using the app. The questionnaires administered were the The Mobile Application Rating Scale (uMARS), the Fertility Quality of Life questionnaire (FertiQol), the Patient Empowerment Questionnaire (PEQ) and the General Anxiety Disorder 7-item Scale (GAD-7). Eleven participants completed in-depth qualitative interviews about their experience using the app. A thematic analysis was used to interpret qualitative results and quantitization was used to dichotomize participants into those with met information needs versus those with unmet information needs. Google Analytics was used to compare participants' reported experience with their actual use of the app.
    Results: The results of this study show that there is variability in the amount of information that people seeking fertility services wish to receive. Participants whose information needs were met reported improved psychological outcomes after using the app, while those with unmet needs showed no change in their psychological outcomes.
    Conclusions: Our results suggest that fulfilling information needs was associated with improved psychological outcomes in people seeking fertility services. Our results also suggest that individual differences in information needs should be considered when developing health educational materials.
    Keywords:  Coping; health communication; health literacy; sexual and reproductive health; stress
  13. J Chem Inf Model. 2021 Jun 11.
      Access to structured chemical reaction data is of key importance for chemists in performing bench experiments and in modern applications like computer-aided drug design. Existing reaction databases are generally populated by human curators through manual abstraction from published literature (e.g., patents and journals), which is time consuming and labor intensive, especially with the exponential growth of chemical literature in recent years. In this study, we focus on developing automated methods for extracting reactions from chemical literature. We consider journal publications as the target source of information, which are more comprehensive and better represent the latest developments in chemistry compared to patents; however, they are less formulaic in their descriptions of reactions. To implement the reaction extraction system, we first devised a chemical reaction schema, primarily including a central product, and a set of associated reaction roles such as reactants, catalyst, solvent, and so on. We formulate the task as a structure prediction problem and solve it with a two-stage deep learning framework consisting of product extraction and reaction role labeling. Both models are built upon Transformer-based encoders, which are adaptively pretrained using domain and task-relevant unlabeled data. Our models are shown to be both effective and data efficient, achieving an F1 score of 76.2% in product extraction and 78.7% in role extraction, with only hundreds of annotated reactions.