bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2021‒07‒11
fifteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. JMIR Med Inform. 2021 Jul 02.
      BACKGROUND: The unified medical language system (UMLS) has been a critical tool in biomedical and health informatics, and the year 2021 marks its 30th anniversary. UMLS brings together many broadly used vocabularies and standards in the biomedical field to facilitate interoperability among different computer systems and applications.OBJECTIVE: Despite its longevity, there is no comprehensive publication analysis of the use of UMLS. Thus, this review and analysis was conducted to provide an overview of UMLS and its usage in English-language peer-reviewed publications, with the objective to provide a comprehensive understanding of how UMLS has been used in English-language peer-reviewed publications over the last 30 years.
    METHODS: PubMed, ACM Digital Library, and the Nursing & Allied Health Database were used to search for literature. The primary search strategy was as follows: UMLS was used as a MeSH term or a keyword or appeared in the title or abstract. Only English-language publications were considered. The publications were screened first, then coded and categorized iteratively, following grounded theory. The review process followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.
    RESULTS: A total of 943 publications were included in the final analysis. After analysis and categorization of publications, UMLS was found to be used in the following emerging themes or areas (numbers of publications are given in parentheses): natural language processing (NLP; 230), information retrieval (125), terminology study (90), ontology and modeling (80), medical subdomains (76), other language studies (53), artificial intelligence tools and applications (46), patient care (35), data mining and knowledge discovery (25), medical education (20), degree-related theses (13), and digital library (5) as well as UMLS itself (150).
    CONCLUSIONS: UMLS has been used successfully in patient care, medical education, digital libraries, and software development, as originally planned, as well as in degree-related theses, the building of artificial intelligence tools, data mining and knowledge discovery, foundational work in methodology and middle layers that may lead to advanced products. NLP, UMLS itself, and information retrieval are the three most common themes in the publications. The results, although largely related to academia, demonstrate that UMLS achieves its intended uses successfully as well as achieves usage broadly beyond its original intentions.
  2. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2021 ;45 e78
      The Health Sciences Descriptors (DeCS) vocabulary establishes a unique and common language that allows the organization and facilitates the search and retrieval of technical and scientific literature on health available in the information sources of the Virtual Health Library. The DeCS, created by the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME), a specialized center of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), is the translation and extension of the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) vocabulary, maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine. BIREME, in coordination with experts from Latin America and the Caribbean, has included in the DeCS the topics of equity, gender, ethnicity and human rights-cross-cutting themes in the programmatic framework of PAHO/WHO technical cooperation-to ensure better retrieval and use of scientific information and evidence related to these topics. The objective of this article is to describe the methodology used during the terminology review of the DeCS and to report the results obtained and the impacts of the terminology expansion in the field of equity, which included the inclusion of 35 new descriptors.
    Keywords:  Equity; Medical Subject Headings; access to information; evidence-based practice; information systems
  3. Account Res. 2021 Jul 03.
      In its current mode of identification of scientific publications, the digital object identifier (DOI) is not more than a web linking of published material to their publishing sources. When a given DOI is searched in the DOI website (, we are redirected to the publishing websites, if the material is available, or an error message (Not Found) will appear if the DOI-associated content is not available or has moved to a new location. To bestow a worthwhile value to DOI assignations, I suggest the establishment of a unique persistent DOI database (for e.g., as a DOI hub, DOI library, or DOI indexer) in which all the DOI assigned by publishers and journals will be listed in one and same place with basics bibliographic metadata and complete citation information, including the DOI link itself, authors' names, manuscripts' titles, publishing source, date of publication, and ideally abstracts if available. As a result, when a DOI is searched in the DOI hub, full bibliographic information should be retrievable regardless of its status in the publishing source. Basic indexation information and metadata associated with published articles will be always accessible and findable independently from the publishing sources. A unique, general and long-term preserved DOI hub will make it easy to search, find and cite scientific literature from the various scientific fields even if a journal or publisher ceases its publishing activity.
    Keywords:  bibliography database; digital object identifier; doi; doi hub; doi indexer; doi library; persistent archive; science archive; science hub; science indexation
  4. J Perioper Pract. 2021 Jul 06. 1750458921994693
      This article aims to provide an overview of the structure, form and content of systematic reviews. It focuses in particular on the literature searching component, and covers systematic database searching techniques, searching for grey literature and the importance of librarian involvement in the search. It also covers systematic review reporting standards such as PRISMA-P and PRISMA, critical appraisal and tools and resources to support the review and ensure it is conducted efficiently and effectively. Finally, it summarizes the requirements when screening search results for inclusion in the review, and the statistical synthesis of included studies' findings.
    Keywords:  Libraries; PRISMA; PRISMA-P; Research support; Systematic reviews
  5. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2021 Jun 25. pii: S0376-8716(21)00369-0. [Epub ahead of print]226 108874
      BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Numbers of drug-overdose deaths, both intentionally and unintentionally, have been increasing in the United States. Of interest, Google spotlights counselling services as helpful resources when users query for suicide-related search terms. However, the search engine does so at varying display rates, depending on terms used. Display rates in the drug-overdose deaths domain are unknown.METHODS: We emulated suicide-related potentially harmful searches at large scale across the U.S. to explore Google's response to search queries including or excluding additional drug-related terms. Employing agent-based testing we conducted 215,999 search requests with varying combinations of search terms.
    RESULTS: Counseling services such as helpline telephone numbers were displayed at high rates after suicide-related potentially harmful search queries (e.g., "how to commit suicide"). While this is a desirable outcome, display rates were substantially lower when drug-related terms, indicative of users' suicidal overdosing tendencies, were added (e.g., "how to commit suicide fentanyl"). Importantly, the addition of any drug-related search term to the suicide-related queries decreased the display frequency of helpful prevention-related resources substantially.
    CONCLUSIONS: Search queries such as "easy way to commit suicide fentanyl" may indicate acute suicidal crises. Helpful resources should be displayed right in such search moments. Search engines should adjust their algorithms to increase these display rates to direct users to such resources. By doing this, search engines may contribute to the prevention of drug-related suicides.
    Keywords:  Google; Health communication; Information-seeking; Opioid crisis; Papageno effect; Search engines; Suicide; Suicide prevention; Werther effect
  6. PM R. 2021 Jul 04.
      INTRODUCTION: People with chronic conditions, common among rehabilitation populations, may have risk factors that put them at higher risk for more severe illness due to COVID-19.OBJECTIVE: To describe and compare adherence to public health guidelines, willingness to adhere to public health guidelines (including vaccination), information-seeking, and perceived trustworthiness of information among people with and without chronic conditions during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    DESIGN: National cross-sectional online survey of people with and without chronic health conditions conducted from April through May 2020.
    PARTICIPANTS: Survey respondents were people with and without chronic conditions, >18 years old, able to read English, and in the U.S. since January 2020. In total, 3,109 survey responses were received and 2,572 complete unique responses were used in analysis.
    METHODS: The survey assessed demographics, adherence to public health measures, information-seeking, and perceived trustworthiness of information sources. Descriptive analyses characterized the sample, and t-tests and nonparametric tests were used to compare those with and without a chronic condition on the public health measures.
    RESULTS: Participants with a chronic condition reported high adherence to public health recommendations and high willingness to adhere to anticipated recommendations across a wide range of chronic conditions and similar to those without a chronic condition despite advised caution for people with underlying health conditions. 70.8% of those with a chronic condition reported a willingness to be vaccinated. Participants reported accessing information from varied sources, with perceived trust highest for the healthcare providers and lowest for social media.
    CONCLUSION: Participants reported high adherence to public health measures, regardless of chronic condition status, during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowledge of adherence to public health measures, information-seeking, and trust in information can assist rehabilitation providers and organizations seeking to mitigate disease transmission, particularly for those with chronic conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Chronic condition; health care delivery; health policy; health services research; information sources; public health adherence; risk factor
  7. Health Educ Res. 2021 Jul 07. pii: cyab028. [Epub ahead of print]
      Social media offers an opportune platform for educating the public about the recommended interventions during global health emergencies. This case study evaluated information in the popular social media platform YouTube about two key interventions (namely, 'social distancing' and 'hand washing') recommended during coronavirus disease-2019. Using the keywords 'social distancing' and 'hand washing', 77 and 78 videos, respectively, were selected from YouTube through pre-defined criteria. The understandability, actionability and quality of information in these videos were assessed. Cumulatively, the social distancing videos received >9 million views and the hand-washing videos received >37 million views. Thirteen social distancing videos (16.9%) and 46 hand-washing videos (58.9%) provided understandable, actionable and good-quality information. The non-understandable, non-actionable or poor-quality videos had paradoxically more viewer engagements than the understandable, actionable or good-quality videos, respectively. Most social distancing videos came from news agencies (68.8%). Hand-washing videos were mostly uploaded by health agencies or academic institutes (52.6%). The videos were less likely to be understandable and actionable and to be of good quality when uploaded by sources other than health agencies or academic institutes. The paucity of adequate information and the limited representation of 'authoritative' sources were concerning. Strategies for harnessing social media as an effective medium for public health education are necessary during pandemics.
  8. J Cheminform. 2021 Jul 07. 13(1): 50
      The ability to access chemical information openly is an essential part of many scientific disciplines. The Journal of Cheminformatics is leading the way for rigorous, open cheminformatics in many ways, but there remains room for improvement in primary areas. This letter discusses how both authors and the journal alike can help increase the FAIRness (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, Reusability) of the chemical structural information in the journal. A proposed chemical structure template can serve as an interoperable Additional File format (already accessible), made more findable by linking the DOI of this data file to the article DOI metadata, supporting further reuse.
    Keywords:  Chemical database; Chemical deposition; Chemical information; Cheminformatics; Data archive; FAIR; Open access; Open repository; Open science; Supplementary material
  9. World Neurosurg. 2021 Jul 03. pii: S1878-8750(21)00981-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a global public health problem, causing long-term burden to patients and caregivers. Patients and their families often resort to seeking online information regarding TBI management whilst awaiting formal healthcare consultations. Although this information is accessible and immediately available, little is known about the quality of online resources. We evaluated the accessibility, relevance, and readability of information regarding TBI from major online search engines.METHODS: TBI-related search terms were entered into two online search engines (GoogleTM, YahooTM), and the first 30 websites per search were assessed for eligibility. Quality (DISCERN score, JAMA Benchmark score) and readability (Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL), Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)) were assessed. Associations between search ranking, quality, and readability were evaluated.
    RESULTS: 202 websites were evaluated with mean DISCERN score 36.5±9.9/80, signifying poor global quality, and mean JAMA Benchmark score 2.8±1.1/4. The majority required 9 - 12 years of education (113/202; 55.9%) according to FKGL and categorised as 'Difficult' on FRES (94/202; 46.5%). Website quality was not associated with search ranking or readability.
    CONCLUSIONS: There is a paucity of high-quality online resources for TBI patients. Herein, we highlight: (i) the importance of guidance from healthcare professionals regarding online-information seeking; (ii) recommendations for the most useful online resources available.
    Keywords:  Traumatic brain injury; health information; information seeking; internet
  10. Womens Health Rep (New Rochelle). 2021 ;2(1): 173-181
      Background: Women are more likely to search for information on behalf of both themselves and others, thus making them a valuable target for health information research. The purpose of this project was to identify and compare the most important medical concerns and sources of health information trusted by women in relationship to demographic differences in two different clinical settings within the same geographic area (Mayo Clinic Department of Family Medicine and Beaches Community Health care-a Sulzbacher Center Clinic). Methods: A novel survey tool was developed to obtain information regarding the age, race, and socioeconomic demographics of patients as well as the patients' personal significant medical concerns and trusted sources of health information. Results: Despite the huge development of health care information delivery through online resources, in our study, the majority of patients from both clinics still used and viewed their primary care provider as the most trusted source of health information. The health concerns most reported by both populations included cardiac health, breast and other cancers, and obesity; meanwhile, mental health was significantly more reported by patients from the free clinic. Conclusions: Education level may be an important factor of the awareness and ultimate treatment and prevention of these prevalent diseases. Furthermore, our study results may help improve patient satisfaction, knowledge, and health outcomes.
    Keywords:  access to information; health resources; mental health; primary health care; surveys and questionnaires; women's health
  11. Support Care Cancer. 2021 Jul 05.
      BACKGROUND: The general population is increasingly using YouTube as a source of information on breast cancer, the most frequent cancer among women. Arabs are the most interested population in breast cancer on YouTube. The transmission of accurate information is important to reduce mortality rates. This cross-sectional study aims to evaluate breast cancer videos on YouTube in the Arab world.METHODS: A YouTube search for "breast cancer" in Arabic was performed. The most viewed 60 videos included were evaluated for global quality (GQS score), reliability (modified DISCERN score), content (content score), and misleading claims. Recorded and calculated data included views, duration, videos power index, and viewers' interaction. Sources from legal persons (governments, universities, TV channels, physicians' groups), and blogs (online health channels, individuals) were categorized.
    RESULTS: The median global quality (3/5), reliability (2/5), and content scores (4/11) were overall low. Misleading information was found in 42% of the videos. Although videos uploaded by legal persons were less popular (163,454 vs 327,488 views), they hosted more physicians (52% vs 15%), were less misleading (15% vs 64%), covered more content, and were of higher global quality and reliability than videos uploaded by blogs [p < 0.05]. While the topic of symptoms (55%) was discussed the most, genetic counseling (13%) and prevention (20%) were the least mentioned.
    CONCLUSIONS: YouTube is poorly informational and inaccurate on breast cancer in the Arab World where it is highly used. Although videos uploaded by legal persons tend to be more adequate, they are of lower popularity. Governments and physicians are encouraged to upload more intelligibly informational videos, guide the population to reliable sources, and support regulations.
    Keywords:  Arab world; Breast cancer; Cancer education; Patient information; Social media; YouTube
  12. World J Surg. 2021 Jul 07.
      BACKGROUND: RCS Eng, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, has published much information with regard to the consenting process. A majority of patients seek health information through online resources as well as discussing with the care givers. Therefore, it is necessary that online material is both of high quality and reliable for patients. We aimed to evaluate the quality and standard of the online patient information on laparoscopic cholecystectomy to help in the consenting process.METHODS: A search was carried out as per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Sources were assessed using five validated scoring tools: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease Score (readability), DISCERN and IPDAS scores (quality of content) and HONcode and the Information Standard Certification (standards of accreditation).
    RESULTS: The average readability of all websites was higher than recommended for patient literature. Less than half of the sources had received HONcode or Information Standard accreditation. On grading of quality and content, across validated scoring tools, no source achieved the minimum recommended level.
    CONCLUSION: Online patient information related to laparoscopic cholecystectomy is of poor quality. We recommend a multidisciplinary approach to participate in publishing more readable online resources of a higher standard to help patients and clinicians in consent and shared decision making.
  13. Neurospine. 2021 Jun;18(2): 363-368
      OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the quality and reliability of carpal tunnel syndrome surgery videos on YouTube.METHODS: A keyword set of "carpal tunnel syndrome surgery" was searched on YouTube. The DISCERN scoring system, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) scoring system, and Health on the Net (HON) ranking systems were used to evaluate the quality and reliability of the first 50 videos appeared in the search results. The characteristics of each video, such as the number of likes, dislikes and views, upload days, video length, and the uploader, were collected retrospectively. The relationships between the video quality and these factors were investigated statistically.
    RESULTS: All of the featured videos sorted were found to be of poor content (mean DISCERN score [n = 1.71 of 5], mean JAMA score [n = 1.76 of 4], mean HON score [n = 5.65 of 16]). Yet, DISCERN scores of the videos uploaded by medical centers were higher than that of the others (p = 0.022). No relationship was detected between the other variables and video quality.
    CONCLUSION: Healthcare professionals and organizations should be more cautious when recording and uploading a video to the online platforms. As those videos could reach a wide audience, their content should provide more information about possible complications of a treatment and other treatment modalities.
    Keywords:  Carpal tunnel syndrome surgery; Patient education; YouTube
  14. Cureus. 2021 May 25. 13(5): e15224
      Purpose Epilepsy is one of the main brain disorders in the world and should be considered a priority for healthcare in Africa. Internet is a growing source of health information for healthcare and patients with epilepsy (PWEs). In this short communication, we tried to describe the status of websites on epilepsy in Africa in terms of availability and pertinence, and to suggest ideas on how to make them more effective. Methods The existence of epilepsy websites and their distribution in Africa were acquired using a questionnaire sent to different neurologists in the African continent. Results Based on the survey answers and the web search, our results show that out of 54 African countries, only 16 countries (≈30%) have an active epilepsy website. Conclusion The need for reliable, clearly written, and easily comprehended information about epilepsy is considered as an important element to enhance the quality of care, for this all African countries should create and improve their epilepsy websites in order to promote education and awareness.
    Keywords:  africa; awareness; education; epilepsy; websites
  15. J Craniofac Surg. 2021 Jul 07.
      INTRODUCTION: Otoplasty procedures consist of around 30% of facial plastics surgeries in the adult population. In this study, we aimed to assess the reliability of YouTube otoplasty videos based on technical video analysis, usefulness scores, and recommended surgical steps.METHODS: The present study evaluated 356 videos after a search on YouTube with the keywords "otoplasty, prominent ear, cosmetic otoplasty, and aesthetic ear surgery" during the period from October 2008 to June 2020. The viewer interest parameters such as the total number of views, comments, subscribers, likes, dislikes, source of videos, and video upload date were assessed. Besides, usefulness scores and recommended surgical steps were also analyzed.
    RESULTS: Among the 356 videos that were compatible with the keywords of the study, only 122 (34%) of them were in agreement with the inclusion criteria. Group 1 (not useful and slightly useful) comprised 69 (57%) videos, and Group 2 (useful and very useful) consisted of 53 (43%) videos. The mean numbers of views, subscribers, and likes were 20544.65 ± 55235.41, 6718.37 ± 20213.54, and 44.34 ± 121.48, respectively, in Group 1, and 82905.22 ± 292819.49, 18603.57 ± 58007.94, and 1089.09 ± 6991.91, respectively, in Group 2. All 3 parameters were significantly higher in Group 2 than Group 1 (P: 0.02, P: 0.005, P: 0.01, respectively).
    CONCLUSIONS: Overall, only 43% of YouTube videos presenting otoplasty procedures were defined as useful or very useful. The interest rates of the viewers are compatible with the usefulness rate of the otoplasty videos.