bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2021‒06‒20
sixteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Front Big Data. 2021 ;4 622106
      This article discusses possible search engine page rank biases as a consequence of search engine profile information. After describing search engine biases, their causes, and their ethical implications, we present data about the Google search engine (GSE) and DuckDuckGo (DDG) for which only the first uses profile data for the production of page ranks. We analyze 408 search engine screen prints of 102 volunteers (53 male and 49 female) on queries for job search and political participation. For job searches via GSE, we find a bias toward stereotypically "female" jobs for women but also for men, although the bias is significantly stronger for women. For political participation, the bias of GSE is toward more powerful positions. Contrary to our hypothesis, this bias is even stronger for women than for men. Our analysis of DDG does not give statistically significant page rank differences for male and female users. We, therefore, conclude that GSE's personal profiling is not reinforcing a gender stereotype. Although no gender differences in page ranks was found for DDG, DDG usage in general gave a bias toward "male-dominant" vacancies for both men and women. We, therefore, believe that search engine page ranks are not biased by profile ranking algorithms, but that page rank biases may be caused by many other factors in the search engine's value chain. We propose ten search engine bias factors with virtue ethical implications for further research.
    Keywords:  DuckDuckGo; Google; filter bubble; gender bias; job search; personalization; political participation search
  2. J Med Internet Res. 2021 Jun 12.
      BACKGROUND: The rate of publication of COVID-19 literature is astonishing and the research is extremely varied. Innovative tools are needed to aid researchers to find patterns in this vast amount of literature to identify subsets of interest in an automated fashion.OBJECTIVE: We present a new online software resource with a friendly user interface that allow users to query and interact with visual representations of relationships between publications.
    METHODS: We publicly released an application called PLATIPUS (Publication Literature Analysis and Text Interaction Platform for User Studies) that allows researchers to interact with literature supplied by COVIDScholar via a visual analytics platform. This tool contains standard filtering capabilities based on authors, journals, high-level categories, and various research-specific details via natural language processing and dozens of customizable visualizations that dynamically update from a researcher's query.
    RESULTS: PLATIPUS is available at and currently links to over hundreds of thousands of publications and still growing. This application has the potential to transform how COVID-19 researchers utilize public literature to enable their research.
    CONCLUSIONS: The PLATIPUS application provides the end-user with a variety of ways to search, filter and visualize over one hundred thousand COVID-19 publications.
  3. BMC Public Health. 2021 06 14. 21(1): 1141
      BACKGROUND: reducing the spread and impact epidemics and pandemics requires that members of the general population change their behaviors according to the recommendations, restrictions and laws provided by leading authorities. When a new epidemic or pandemic emerges, people are faced with the challenge of sorting through a great volume of varied information. Therefore, the dissemination of high-quality web-based information is essential during this time period. The overarching aim was to investigate the quality of web-based information about preventive measures and self care methods at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.METHODS: in May 2020, consumer-oriented websites written in Swedish were identified via systematic searches in Google (n = 76). Websites were assessed with inductive content analysis, the JAMA benchmarks, the QUEST tool and the DISCERN instrument.
    RESULTS: seven categories and 33 subcategories were identified concerning preventive measures (md = 6.0 subcategories), with few specifying a method for washing hands (n = 4), when to sanitize the hands (n = 4), and a method for sanitizing the hands (n = 1). Eight categories and 30 subcategories were identified concerning self care methods (md = 3.0 subcategories), with few referring to the national number for telephone-based counseling (n = 20) and an online symptom assessment tool (n = 16). Overall, the median total quality scores were low (JAMA = 0/4, QUEST =13/28, DISCERN = 29/80).
    CONCLUSIONS: at the beginning of the pandemic, substantial quality deficits of websites about COVID-19 may have counteracted the public recommendations for preventive measures. This illustrates a critical need for standardized and systematic routines on how to achieve dissemination of high-quality web-based information when new epidemics and pandemics emerge.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Consumer health information; Primary prevention; Self care; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; World wide web
  4. JMIR Res Protoc. 2021 Jun 15. 10(6): e26448
      BACKGROUND: A systematic review can be defined as a summary of the evidence found in the literature via a systematic search in the available scientific databases. One of the steps involved is article selection, which is typically a laborious task. Machine learning and artificial intelligence can be important tools in automating this step, thus aiding researchers.OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to create models based on an artificial neural network system to automate the article selection process in systematic reviews related to "Mindfulness and Health Promotion."
    METHODS: The study will be performed using Python programming software. The system will consist of six main steps: (1) data import, (2) exclusion of duplicates, (3) exclusion of non-articles, (4) article reading and model creation using artificial neural network, (5) comparison of the models, and (6) system sharing. We will choose the 10 most relevant systematic reviews published in the fields of "Mindfulness and Health Promotion" and "Orthopedics" (control group) to serve as a test of the effectiveness of the article selection.
    RESULTS: Data collection will begin in July 2021, with completion scheduled for December 2021, and final publication available in March 2022.
    CONCLUSIONS: An automated system with a modifiable sensitivity will be created to select scientific articles in systematic review that can be expanded to various fields. We will disseminate our results and models through the "Observatory of Evidence" in public health, an open and online platform that will assist researchers in systematic reviews.
    Keywords:  deep learning; machine learning; mindfulness; systematic review
  5. Cranio. 2021 Jun 16. 1-8
      OBJECTIVE: : Systematic reviews (SRs) are an increasingly important format in the scientific literature. Commentaries on improvements to the SR format have focused on methodological quality, but a greater concern is a frequent lack of critical analysis. A structured critical analysis (SCA) was described as a solution to this deficiency.METHODS: : Recommendations and conclusions of a recent SR were analyzed with a SCA to address common problems previously reported with the SR format.
    RESULTS: : Errors in the component studies and their interpretation by the SR that led to erroneous recommendations were presented. The 5-part SCA provided comprehensive analysis that corrected the SR, which had accepted the component study conclusions verbatim.
    CONCLUSION: : The SCA is a logical approach to provide critical thinking in SRs to ensure appropriate conclusions. This is especially important, as many SRs report contradictory evidence. Also, the reader can use the SCA format to better understand existing literature.
    Keywords:  Systematic review; component studies; meta-analysis; methodological quality; occlusion; scientific merit; splints; structured critical analysis
  6. Front Res Metr Anal. 2021 ;6 694307
    Keywords:  bibliographic metadata; bibliometric-enhanced information retrieval; data mining and knowledge discovery; information retrieval and extraction; knowledge graph (ontologies)
  7. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2021 Jun 12. pii: S0003-9993(21)00376-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: To summarise the proportion of consumer webpages on subacromial decompression and rotator cuff repair surgery that make an accurate portrayal of the evidence for these surgeries (primary outcome), mention the benefits and harms of surgery, outline alternatives to surgery, and make various surgical recommendations.DESIGN: Content analysis.
    SETTING: Online consumer information about subacromial decompression and rotator cuff repair surgery. Webpages were identified through (1) Google searches using terms synonymous with 'shoulder pain' and 'shoulder surgery', and searching 'orthopaedic surgeon' linked to each Australian capital city, and (2) websites of relevant professional associations (e.g. Australian Orthopaedic Association). Two reviewers independently identified webpages and extracted data.
    PARTICIPANTS: N/A INTERVENTION: N/A MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Whether the webpage made an accurate portrayal of the evidence for subacromial decompression or rotator cuff repair surgery (primary outcome), mentioned benefits and harms of surgery, outlined alternatives to surgery, and made various surgical recommendations (e.g. delay surgery). Outcome data were summarised using counts and percentages.
    RESULTS: 155 webpages were analysed (n=89 on subacromial decompression, n=90 on rotator cuff repair, n=24 on both). Only 18% (n=16) and 4% (n=4) of webpages made an accurate portrayal of the evidence for subacromial decompression and rotator cuff repair surgery, respectively. For subacromial decompression and rotator cuff repair, respectively, 85% (n=76) and 80% (n=72) of webpages mentioned benefits, 38% (n=34) and 47% (n=42) mentioned harms, 94% (n=84) and 92% (n=83) provided alternatives to surgery, and 63% (n=56) and 62% (n=56) recommended delayed surgery (the most common recommendation).
    CONCLUSION: Most online information about subacromial decompression and rotator cuff repair surgery does not accurately portray the best available evidence for surgery and may be inadequate to inform patient decision-making.
    Keywords:  Consumer resources; Rotator cuff repair; Shoulder surgery; Subacromial decompression
  8. Artif Intell Med. 2021 Jul;pii: S0933-3657(21)00089-0. [Epub ahead of print]117 102096
      BACKGROUND: Internet provides different tools for communicating with patients, such as social media (e.g., Twitter) and email platforms. These platforms provided new data sources to shed lights on patient experiences with health care and improve our understanding of patient-provider communication. Several existing topic modeling and document clustering methods have been adapted to analyze these new free-text data automatically. However, both tweets and emails are often composed of short texts; and existing topic modeling and clustering approaches have suboptimal performance on these short texts. Moreover, research over health-related short texts using these methods has become difficult to reproduce and benchmark, partially due to the absence of a detailed comparison of state-of-the-art topic modeling and clustering methods on these short texts.METHODS: We trained eight state-of- the-art topic modeling and clustering algorithms on short texts from two health-related datasets (tweets and emails): Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), LDA with Gibbs Sampling (GibbsLDA), Online LDA, Biterm Model (BTM), Online Twitter LDA, and Gibbs Sampling for Dirichlet Multinomial Mixture (GSDMM), as well as the k-means clustering algorithm with two different feature representations: TF-IDF and Doc2Vec. We used cluster validity indices to evaluate the performance of topic modeling and clustering: two internal indices (i.e. assessing the goodness of a clustering structure without external information) and five external indices (i.e. comparing the results of a cluster analysis to an externally known provided class labels).
    RESULTS: In overall, for number of clusters (k) from 2 to 50, Online Twitter LDA and GSDMM achieved the best performance in terms of internal indices, while LSI and k-means with TF-IDF had the highest external indices. Also, of all tweets (N = 286, 971; HPV represents 94.6% of tweets and lynch syndrome represents 5.4%), for k = 2, most of the methods could respect this initial clustering distribution. However, we found model performance varies with the source of data and hyper-parameters such as the number of topics and the number of iterations used to train the models. We also conducted an error analysis using the Hamming loss metric, for which the poorest value was obtained by GSDMM on both datasets.
    CONCLUSIONS: Researchers hoping to group or classify health related short-text data can expect to select the most suitable topic modeling and clustering methods for their specific research questions. Therefore, we presented a comparison of the most common used topic modeling and clustering algorithms over two health-related, short-text datasets using both internal and external clustering validation indices. Internal indices suggested Online Twitter LDA and GSDMM as the best, while external indices suggested LSI and k-means with TF-IDF as the best. In summary, our work suggested researchers can improve their analysis of model performance by using a variety of metrics, since there is not a single best metric.
    Keywords:  Clustering; External cluster indices; Internal cluster indices; Natural language processing; Topic modeling
  9. J Cancer Educ. 2021 Jun 19.
      The ability to share and obtain health information on social media (SM) places higher burden on individuals to evaluate the believability of such health messages given the growing nature of misinformation circulating on SM. Message features (i.e., format, veracity), message source, and an individual's health literacy all play significant roles in how a person evaluates health messages on SM. This study assesses how message features and SM users' health literacy predict assessment of message believability and time spent looking at simulated Facebook messages. SM users (N = 53) participated in a mixed methods experimental study, using eye-tracking technology, to measure relative time and message believability. Measures included individual health literacy, message format (narrative/non-narrative), and information veracity (evidence-based/non-evidence-based). Results showed individuals with adequate health literacy rated evidence-based posts as more believable than non-evidence-based posts. Additionally, individuals with limited health literacy spent more relative time on the source compared to individuals with adequate health literacy. Public health and health communication efforts should focus on addressing myths and misinformation found on SM. Additionally, the source of message may be equally important when evaluating messages on SM, and strategies should identify reliable sources to prevent limited health literate individuals from falling prey to misinformation.
    Keywords:  Eye-tracking; Health literacy; Social media
  10. Seizure. 2021 Jun 01. pii: S1059-1311(21)00172-2. [Epub ahead of print]91 91-96
      INTRODUCTION: To analyze the content of Korean YouTube videos related to febrile seizures and examine the general characteristics, reliability, and quality of the videos.METHOD: A search of YouTube was performed using three Korean keywords meaning "febrile seizure", and a total of 1,641 videos were identified. Among them, 73 eligible videos were analyzed for their characteristics, quality, and reliability. The quality and reliability were rated using global quality (GQS) on a scale of 1-5 and the DISCERN instrument.
    RESULTS: The mean reliability and quality scores were 2.37±1.16 and 3.11±1.17 out of 5, respectively. Fifty-one of the 73 (69.8%) videos are related to febrile seizure management. Longer videos (13.94±20.06 vs 6.68±7.34) and videos with physicians (82.61% vs 32.00%) as the main speaker were higher quality.
    DISCUSSION: Both the quality and reliability of YouTube videos on febrile seizures were relatively low, and approximately only 30% of all videos were classified as high quality. Healthcare professionals should be aware that there is misinformation and low-quality information on social media and warn parents of this issue.
    Keywords:  Caregivers; Febrile seizure; Online information; Parents; Social media
  11. World Neurosurg. 2021 Jun 14. pii: S1878-8750(21)00835-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: The American Medical Association (AMA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend that patient education materials should be written at the sixth-grade reading level to maximize patient comprehension. The objective of this study was to evaluate the readability of internet information for the 9 most common spinal surgeries.METHODS: Ninety online patient educational materials were reviewed regarding the nine most common spinal surgeries as reported by the North American Spine Society. A Google search was performed on March 23, 2019 for each surgery, and the top 10 most visited websites for each surgery were assessed for reading level using the Flesch-Kincaid formula.
    RESULTS: Using the Flesch-Kincaid formula, the average grade reading level of the 90 websites included was 12.82 with a reading ease of 37.04 ("difficult college"). There were only 6 websites that relayed information to patients at or below the national average of aneighth-grade reading level. BMP had the highest average grade reading level at 15.88 (standard deviation: 2.6). Lumbar microscopic discectomy had the lowest average grade reading level at 10.37 (standard deviation: 2.89). All surgical options discussed had an average readability above the recommended sixth-grade reading level.
    CONCLUSIONS: The most accessed online materials for common spinal surgeries not only exceed the readability limits recommended by both the AMA and NIH, but they also exceed the average reading ability of most adults in the United States. Patients, therefore, may not fully comprehend commonly accessed websites with information regarding surgical spine treatment options.
    Keywords:  Cervical Spine; Flesch-Kincaid; Health Literacy; Patient Education; Readability; Reading Level
  12. Integr Med Res. 2021 Dec;10(4): 100749
      Background: The Internet is increasingly utilized by patients to acquire information about dietary and herbal supplements (DHSs). Previously published studies assessing the quality of websites providing consumer health information about DHSs have been found to contain inaccuracies and misinformation that may compromise patient safety.. The present study assessed the quality of online DHSs consumer health information for fatigue.Methods: Six unique search terms were searched on Google, each relating to fatigue and DHSs, across four countries. Across 480 websites identified, 48 were deemed eligible and were quality assessed using the DISCERN instrument, a standardized index of the quality of consumer health information.
    Results: Across 48 eligible websites, the mean summed score was 47.64 (SD = 10.38) and the mean overall rating was 3.06 (SD = 0.90). Commercial sites were the most numerous in quantity, but contained information of the poorest quality. In general, websites lacked discussion surrounding uncertainty of information, describing what would happen if no treatment was used, and how treatment choices affect overall quality of life.
    Conclusion: Physicians and other healthcare professionals should be aware of the high variability in the quality of online information regarding the use of DHSs for fatigue and facilitate open communication with patients to guide them towards reliable online sources.
    Keywords:  Consumer health information; DISCERN; Dietary and herbal supplements; Fatigue; Quality of information
  13. Comput Inform Nurs. 2021 Jun 16.
      Health information on the Internet can have a direct effect on healthcare decision-making. However, the quality of information online has seldom been evaluated. This study aimed to assess the quality of online information on high-risk pregnancies provided by English and Korean Web sites. Through a Google search, 30 English and 30 Korean Web sites were selected on January 2 and 3, 2020, respectively, and assessed using DISCERN, a Journal of the American Medical Association, and Health On the Net Foundation code questionnaires. The data assessed were analyzed using descriptive and nonparametric statistical tests. Overall, the information provided by the English Web sites presented higher-quality information than the Korean Web sites. Most Web sites did not provide the sources of the information presented on their Web sites, meet the Journal of the American Medical Association criteria, or provide information on complementarity. Based on our results, nurses need to be competent in assessing the quality of Web sites and the health information presented there, and nursing students need to be prepared to do so as well. Nurses are responsible for educating their patients about the possibility of incorrect information provided by Internet Web sites and informing their patients about reliable Web sites, thus assisting them to make informed decisions regarding their health.
  14. Phys Sportsmed. 2021 Jun 12.
      OBJECTIVES: The Internet is a widely used resource for patients seeking health information, yet little editing or regulations are imposed on posted material. We sought to assess the quality and accuracy of information presented on shoulder instability on the online video platform YouTube. We hypothesize that YouTube videos concerning shoulder instability will be of little quality, accuracy, and reliability.METHODS: The first 50 YouTube videos resulting from the keyword query "shoulder instability" were analyzed. The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria (score range, 0-5) was used to assess video accuracy and reliability, and the Global Quality Score (GQS; score range, 0-4) was used to assess the quality of the video's educational content along with a generated Shoulder-Specific Score (SSS).
    RESULTS: The 50 videos observed collectively had 5,007,486 views, with the mean number of views being 100,149.72 ± 227,218.04. Of all videos observed, 32% were from a medical source and 56% had content relating to pathology information. The mean JAMA score was 2.84 ± 0.74, with the highest scores coming from academic sources. The mean GQS and SSS scores were 2.68 ± 0.84 and 5.30 ± 3.78. The mean GQS score was highest in videos from medical sources (3.3 ± 0.8) and videos about surgical technique/approach (3.2 ± 1.1). Advertisements were negative predictors of the JAMA score (β = -0.324, P = 0.014), and academic (β = 0.322, P = 0.015) and physician sources (β = 0.356, P = 0.008) were positive predictors.
    CONCLUSION: YouTube videos on shoulder instability are of low quality and accuracy and are not reliable. Care providers should be aware of the overall low quality of information available on YouTube regarding shoulder instability.
    Keywords:  Glenohumeral Instability; Quality Assessment; Shoulder; Shoulder Instability; YouTube
  15. J Med Internet Res. 2021 Jun 15. 23(6): e27860
      BACKGROUND: The internet is used for information related to health conditions, including low back pain (LBP), but most LBP websites provide inaccurate information. Few studies have investigated the effectiveness of internet resources in changing health literacy or treatment choices.OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the MyBackPain website compared with unguided internet use on health literacy, choice of treatments, and clinical outcomes in people with LBP.
    METHODS: This was a pragmatic, web-based, participant- and assessor-blinded randomized trial of individuals with LBP stratified by duration. Participants were randomly allocated to have access to the evidence-based MyBackPain website, which was designed with input from consumers and expert consensus or unguided internet use. The coprimary outcomes were two dimensions of the Health Literacy Questionnaire (dimension 2: "having sufficient information to manage my health;" dimension 3: "actively managing my health;" converted to scores 1-100) at 3 months. Secondary outcomes included additional Health Literacy Questionnaire dimensions, quality of treatment choices, and clinical outcomes.
    RESULTS: A total of 453 participants were recruited, and 321 (70.9%) completed the primary outcomes. Access to MyBackPain was not superior to unguided internet use on primary outcomes (dimension 2: mean difference -0.87 units, 95% CI -3.56 to 1.82; dimension 3: mean difference -0.41 units, 95% CI -2.78 to 1.96). Between-group differences in other secondary outcomes had inconsistent directions and were unlikely to be clinically important, although a small improvement of unclear importance in the quality of stated treatment choices at 1 month was found (mean difference 0.93 units, 95% CI 0.03 to 1.84).
    CONCLUSIONS: MyBackPain was not superior to unguided internet use for health literacy, but data suggest some short-term improvement in treatment choices. Future research should investigate if greater interactivity and engagement with the website may enhance its impact.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) ACTRN12617001292369;
    Keywords:  health literacy; internet resources; low back pain; randomized controlled trial
  16. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021 Jun 16. pii: nqab119. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 guarantees the public an opportunity to view and comment on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines as part of the policymaking process. In the past, public comments were submitted by postal mail or public hearings. The convenience of public comment through the Internet has generated increased comment volume, making manual analysis challenging.OBJECTIVES: To apply natural language processing (NLP NLP is natural language processing.) to identify sentiment, emotion, and themes in the 2020 Dietary Guidelines public comments.
    METHODS: Written comments to the Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that were uploaded and visible at were extracted using a computer program and retained for analysis. All comments were filtered, and duplicates were removed. A 2-round latent Dirichlet analysis (LDA) was used to identify 3 overarching topics as well as subtopics addressed in the comments. Sentiment analysis was applied to categorize emotion and overall positive and negative sentiment within each topic.
    RESULTS: Three different topics were identified by LDA. The first topic involved negative sentiment surrounding removing dairy from the guidelines because the commenters felt dairy is unnecessary. The second topic focused on positive sentiment involved in restricting added sugars. The third topic was too diverse to characterize under 1 theme. A second LDA within the third topic had 3 subtopics containing positive sentiment. The first subtopic valued the inclusion of dairy in the recommendations, the second involved the health benefits of consuming beef, and the third indicated that the recommendations lead to overall good health outcomes.
    CONCLUSIONS: Public comments were diverse, held conflicting viewpoints, and often did not base comments on personal anecdotes or opinions without citing scientific evidence. Because the volume of public comments has grown dramatically, NLP has promise to assist in objective analysis of public comment input.
    Keywords:  2020 Dietary Guidelines; emotion; latent Dirichlet allocation; machine learning; natural language processing; public comments; sentiment; topic modeling