bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2022‒05‒15
fourteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Can Fam Physician. 2022 May;68(5): e146-e150
      PROBLEM ADDRESSED: Family medicine residency programs need to incorporate ongoing training in the CanMEDS-Family Medicine scholar role.OBJECTIVE OF PROGRAM: To teach and reinforce evidence-based, point-of-care search skills in family medicine residents through involvement of a clinical librarian at morning report.
    PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: A clinical librarian session is run weekly during morning report while residents rotate through a family medicine-run inpatient unit. An evidence-based model emphasizing preappraised sources for point-of-care searching of clinical questions is introduced, and residents have an opportunity to answer their own clinical questions. Feedback suggests most residents find the sessions affect their practices positively and increase their use of evidence-based, preappraised point-of-care resources.
    CONCLUSION: Incorporating a clinical librarian in evidence-based medicine sessions enhances family medicine residents' competencies in the CanMEDS-Family Medicine scholar role.
  2. Jamba. 2022 ;14(1): 1197
      Globally, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has wreaked havoc on human lives and socio-economic activities at an unimaginable scale. African countries have not been spared from this debacle - as evidenced by media reports of loss of lives, lockdown, isolation and desolation coupled with loss of livelihood. Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic rages, libraries find themselves at the epicentre of an unprecedented crisis in the form of an information deluge that requires a multi-thronged approach to ensure information hygienic practices in information management. In order to fight COVID-19, librarians and related information professionals with relevant tools should aim at helping prevent COVID-19 pandemic infodemic (coroinfodeluge). This article explores how libraries and librarians can contribute to the fight against COVID-19 through waging wars in the realm of access to information amidst an avalanche of disinformation. This article analysed how librarians can be proactive in contributing to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic through innovative strategies that ensure an informed citizenry. The study used qualitative content analysis as the study design. Documents were retrieved from trusted websites and they were coded before analysis. These documents included legal instruments, scholarly publications from accredited databases including Elsevier and Emerald. The study found out that librarians were not included in the national programmes to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, yet they possess potential to contribute to the fight against misinformation by educating citizens on information hygienic practices, for example, by directing users to credible or trustworthy sources on the pandemic. The study concluded that librarians can be useful stakeholders to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and infodemic because they possess knowledge and skills relating to critical literacies that are needed in the 21st century. It recommends a collaborative framework that includes community leaders and strategic partners - to help librarians ensure that the citizenry is not misinformed during emergencies.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Southern Africa; access to information; infodemic; librarians and intergenerational divide; partnerships
  3. J Chem Inf Model. 2022 May 13.
      CAS Common Chemistry ( is an open web resource that provides access to reliable chemical substance information for the scientific community. Having served millions of visitors since its creation in 2009, the resource was extensively updated in 2021 with significant enhancements. The underlying dataset was expanded from 8000 to 500,000 chemical substances and includes additional associated information, such as basic properties and computer-readable chemical structure information. New use cases are supported with enhanced search capabilities and an integrated application programming interface. Reusable licensing of the content is provided through a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial (CC-BY-NC 4.0) license allowing other public resources to integrate the data into their systems. This paper provides an overview of the enhancements to data and functionality, discusses the benefits of the contribution to the chemistry community, and summarizes recent progress in leveraging this resource to strengthen other information sources.
  4. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Apr 29. pii: 5451. [Epub ahead of print]19(9):
      BACKGROUND: Oral medicine represents a complex branch of dentistry, involved in diagnosing and managing a wide range of disorders. YoutubeTM offers a huge source of information for users and patients affected by oral diseases. This systematic review aims to evaluate the reliability of YoutubeTM oral medicine-related content as a valid dissemination aid.METHODS: The MeSH terms "YoutubeTM" and "oral" have been searched by three search engines (PubMed, ISI Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library), and a systematic review has been performed; the PRISMA checklist has been followed in the search operations.
    RESULTS: Initial results were 210. Ten studies definitely met our selection criteria.
    CONCLUSIONS: YoutubeTM represents a dynamic device capable of easy and rapid dissemination of medical-scientific content. Nevertheless, the most of information collected in the literature shows a lack of adequate knowledge and the need to utilize a peer-reviewing tool in order to avoid the spreading of misleading and dangerous content.
    Keywords:  YoutubeTM; oral medicine; social media; web medicine
  5. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2022 May 05. pii: S0301-2115(22)00325-6. [Epub ahead of print]
  6. JMIR Pediatr Parent. 2022 May 09. 5(2): e29618
      BACKGROUND: Parents often search the web for health-related information for themselves or on behalf of their children, which may impact their health-related decision-making and behaviors. In particular, searching for somatic symptoms such as headaches, fever, or fatigue is common. However, little is known about how psychological and relational factors relate to the characteristics of successful symptom-related internet searches. To date, few studies have used experimental designs that connect participant subjective search evaluation with objective search behavior metrics.OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the features of web-based health-related search behaviors based on video-coded observational data, to investigate which psychological and relational factors are related to successful symptom search appraisal, and to examine the differences in search-related outcomes among self-seekers and by-proxy seekers.
    METHODS: In a laboratory setting, parents living in Austria (N=46) with a child aged between 0 and 6 years were randomized to search their own (n=23, 50%) or their child's (n=23, 50%) most recent somatic symptom on the web. Web-based activity was recorded and transcribed. Health anxiety, eHealth literacy, attitude toward web-based health information, relational variables, state of stress, participants' search appraisals, and quantitative properties of the search session were assessed. Differences in search appraisals and search characteristics among parents who searched for themselves or their children were examined.
    RESULTS: Across both groups, searches were carried out for 17 different symptom clusters. Almost all parents started with Google (44/46, 96%), and a majority used initial elaborated key phrases with >1 search keyword (38/45, 84%) and performed on average 2.95 (SD 1.83) search queries per session. Search success was negatively associated with health anxiety (rs=-0.39, P=.01), stress after the search (rs=-0.33, P=.02), and the number of search queries (rs=-0.29, P=.04) but was not significantly associated with eHealth literacy (rs=0.22, P=.13). Of note, eHealth literacy was strongly and positively correlated with satisfaction during the search (rs=0.50, P<.001) but did not significantly correlate with search characteristics as measured by search duration (rs=0.08, P=.56), number of performed search queries (rs=0.20, P=.17), or total clicks (rs=0.14, P=.32). No differences were found between parents searching for their own symptoms and parents searching for their child's symptoms.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study provides exploratory findings regarding relevant dimensions of appraisals for symptom-based information seeking on the web. Consistent with previous literature, health anxiety was found to be associated with poorer search evaluation. Contrary to expectations, eHealth literacy was related neither to search success nor to search characteristics. Interestingly, we did not find significant differences between self-seekers and by-proxy seekers, suggesting similar search and evaluation patterns in our sample. Further research with larger samples is needed to identify and evaluate guidelines for enhanced web-based health information seeking among parents and the general public.
    Keywords:  digital health; eHealth literacy; human computer interaction; mobile phone; online health information seeking; parent-child; parents
  7. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2022 May 13. 22(1): 131
      BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant morbidity and mortality. To mitigate its spread, members in the general population were prompted to apply significant behavioral changes. This required an effective dissemination of understandable information accessible for people with a wide range of literacy backgrounds. The aim of this study was to investigate the readability, understandability and language accessibility of Swedish consumer-oriented websites containing information about COVID-19.METHODS: Websites were identified through systematic searches in (n = 76), and were collected in May 2020 when the pandemic spread started in Sweden. Readability and understandability were assessed with the Readability Index, the Ensuring Quality Information for Patients (EQIP) tool, and the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool Understandability subscale (PEMAT-PU).
    RESULTS: The median total sample score for Readability Index was 42.0, with the majority of scores being classified as moderate (n = 30, 39%) or difficult (n = 43, 57%). Median total sample scores were for EQIP 54.0% (IQR = 17.0, Range = 8-75) and for PEMAT-PU 60.0% (IQR = 14.75, Range = 12-87). The majority of the websites did not have any texts or links containing information in an alternative language (n = 58, 76%).
    CONCLUSIONS: Swedish websites contained information of difficult readability and understandability at the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, with few providing information available in alternative languages. It is possible that these deficits contributed to the spread and impact of the virus. There is a need for studies investigating methods aiming to enhance the readability, understandability and language accessibility of web-based information at the beginning of an epidemic or pandemic.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Consumer health information; Quality; Readability; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; World wide web
  8. Orthop J Sports Med. 2022 May;10(5): 23259671221092356
      Background: The internet has become an increasingly popular resource among sports medicine patients seeking injury-related information. Numerous organizations recommend that patient educational materials (PEMs) should not exceed sixth-grade reading level. Despite this, studies have consistently shown the reading grade level (RGL) of PEMs to be too demanding across a range of surgical specialties.Purpose: To determine the readability of online sports medicine PEMs.
    Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
    Methods: The readability of 363 articles pertaining to sports medicine from 5 leading North American websites was assessed using 8 readability formulas: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Grade Level, Flesch Reading Ease Score, Raygor Estimate, Fry Readability Formula, Simple Measure of Gobbledygook, Coleman-Liau Index, FORCAST Readability Formula, and Gunning Fog Index. The mean RGL of each article was compared with the sixth- and eighth-grade reading level in the United States. The cumulative mean website RGL was also compared among individual websites.
    Results: The overall cumulative mean RGL was 12.2 (range, 7.0-17.7). No article (0%) was written at a sixth-grade reading level, and only 3 articles (0.8%) were written at or below the eighth-grade reading level. The overall cumulative mean RGL was significantly higher than the sixth-grade [95% CI for the difference, 6.0-6.5; P < .001] and eighth-grade (95% CI, 4.0-4.5; P < .001) reading levels. There was a significant difference among the cumulative mean RGLs of the 5 websites assessed.
    Conclusion: Sports medicine PEMs produced by leading North American specialty websites have readability scores that are above the recommended levels. Given the increasing preference of patients for online health care materials, the imperative role of health literacy in patient outcomes, and the growing body of online resources, significant work needs to be undertaken to improve the readability of these materials.
    Keywords:  health literacy; patient education; readability; reading grade level; sports medicine
  9. Vaccine. 2022 May 03. pii: S0264-410X(22)00546-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: More than 130 million individuals in the United States have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, all adults in the Unites States now have access to one of three COVID-19 vaccines. As part of the vaccination procedure, Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) fact sheets, which contain information regarding the vaccine, are provided. The purpose of this study was to analyze the ease of reading (i.e., readability) of the EUA-approved fact sheets for the vaccines currently available in the United States, the V-Safe adverse event survey script, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website information on COVID-19 vaccines designed for the general public in the United States.METHODS: We acquired the Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen EUA fact sheets, as well as the V-Safe survey script and the CDC website information regarding COVID-19 vaccines. These documents were analyzed for their complexity regarding the following readability factors: average length of paragraphs, sentences, and words; font size and style; use of passive voice; the Gunning-Fog index; the Flesch Reading Ease index; and the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level index.
    RESULTS: Only the V-Safe adverse-event survey script met readability standards for adequate comprehension. The mean readability scores of the EUA fact sheets and the CDC website were as follows: Flesch Reading Ease score (44.35 avg); Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (10.48 avg); and Gunning-Fog index (11.8 avg).These scores indicate that at least a 10th-grade level education would be required to understand these reading materials.
    CONCLUSION: The average person in the United States would have difficulty understanding the information provided in the EUA fact sheets and CDC COVID-19 vaccine website documents; however, the V-Safe survey was written at an adequate reading level. To ensure that the general public fully understands information regarding COVID-19 vaccines, greater care and effort should be given to the development of simplified information material.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Clinical Trial; Comprehension; Consent Forms; Coronavirus Infections; Reading; Research; Research Subjects; Vaccine
  10. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Apr 25. pii: 5198. [Epub ahead of print]19(9):
      Applying Dervin's sense-making theory, this study aims to examine the factors associated with the numbers and types of COVID-19 information sources, and the association between information sources and knowledge during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea. An online survey was conducted among adults (19-69 years old) in December 2020. Ordinary least squares (OLS) and logistic regression were conducted to examine (1) the associated factors with the numbers and types of COVID-19 information sources, and (2) whether the number and types of COVID-19 information sources predict the correct COVID-19 knowledge. On average, the participants utilized five different sources to find COVID-19 information. The information need was related to the number and type of information sources, while the information barrier was only related to the number of sources. Participants who utilized more sources and who utilized online sources were more likely to possess the correct knowledge regarding COVID-19 while utilizing the government website; however, doctors, as a source, were negatively related to COVID-19 knowledge. There should be more support for individuals with lower socioeconomic status, as they tend to look for fewer sources, while finding more sources is positively related to better COVID-19 knowledge.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; South Korea; information source; information-seeking behavior; pandemic; sense-making theory
  11. Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 May 10. pii: gkac310. [Epub ahead of print]
      With the proliferation of genomic sequence data for biomedical research, the exploration of human genetic information by domain experts requires a comprehensive interrogation of large numbers of scientific publications in PubMed. However, a query in PubMed essentially provides search results sorted only by the date of publication. A search engine for retrieving and interpreting complex relations between biomedical concepts in scientific publications remains lacking. Here, we present pubmedKB, a web server designed to extract and visualize semantic relationships between four biomedical entity types: variants, genes, diseases, and chemicals. pubmedKB uses state-of-the-art natural language processing techniques to extract semantic relations from the large number of PubMed abstracts. Currently, over 2 million semantic relations between biomedical entity pairs are extracted from over 33 million PubMed abstracts in pubmedKB. pubmedKB has a user-friendly interface with an interactive semantic graph, enabling the user to easily query entities and explore entity relations. Supporting sentences with the highlighted snippets allow to easily navigate the publications. Combined with a new explorative approach to literature mining and an interactive interface for researchers, pubmedKB thus enables rapid, intelligent searching of the large biomedical literature to provide useful knowledge and insights. pubmedKB is available at
  12. Int Urogynecol J. 2022 May 13.
      INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: Overactive bladder (OAB) affects up to 43% of women. Treatment ranges from lifestyle modification to invasive therapies. Nearly 75% of patients report using the internet to gain health information creating a need for interpretable, online resources. This study is aimed at evaluating the readability of online resources for OAB treatment in the US population.METHODS: Google and Bing were queried regarding "sacral neuromodulation," "peripheral tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS)," and "bladder botox." The first 20 results from each search engine were assessed, representing over 90% of accessed search results. Websites were categorized as institutional/reference, commercial, nonprofit, or personal. The Gunning fog (GF), Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG), and Dale-Chall (DC) validated readability scores were used to assess results.
    RESULTS: Sacral neuromodulation yielded 27 eligible results. The associated mean readability scores correlated with levels of college senior (GF), high school junior (SMOG), and college level (DC). PTNS yielded 31 eligible results. The associated mean readability scores correlated with levels of college senior (GF), high school senior (SMOG), and college level (DC). Bladder botox yielded 17 eligible results. The associated mean readability scores correlated with levels of college sophomore (GF), high school junior (SMOG), and college level (DC). There was no difference between the therapies regarding readability. Sixty-one percent of websites were institutional/reference, 24% were commercial, 13% were nonprofit, and 2% were personal.
    CONCLUSIONS: High levels of reading comprehension are required by the general US population to understand OAB information obtained through the internet. These findings highlight a need for simplification of online resources pertaining to OAB.
    Keywords:  Botox; Neuromodulation; Online; Overactive Bladder; Readability
  13. Lupus. 2022 May 12. 9612033221098884
      INTRODUCTION: Although patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may benefit from health-care information in social media (SoMe), they may also be prone to misleading information. An assessment of the reliability, comprehensiveness, and quality of information uploaded to SoMe for Spanish-speaking patients with SLE is lacking.METHODS: This analytical observational study evaluates the videos uploaded to YouTube® in Spanish about SLE. Information about video length, engagement (i.e., views and likes), time on the internet, popularity index, and source was retrieved, and an evaluation on reliability, comprehensiveness, and quality was performed using standardized scores.
    RESULTS: One hundred eighty-six videos were included in the analysis. Most videos were considered as useful (87%) or useful patient opinion (8.1%), whereas only 2.2% were considered misleading and 2.7% as misleading patient opinion. The number of views (Median 7207 vs 113,877, p = .012), popularity index (Median 13.8 vs 168.7, p < .001), number of likes (Median 155 vs 3400, p < .001), and number of dislikes (Median 3 vs 138, p = .004) were higher for misleading videos. The videos uploaded by independent users had a higher engagement than those from government or news agencies, professional organizations or academic channels. Misleading videos and those uploaded by independent users had lower rates of reliability, comprehensiveness and quality (p < .001).
    CONCLUSIONS: Most of the information shown in YouTube® videos on SLE tends to be useful. However, audience engagement parameters are larger for misleading videos. Exploring the qualitative features of the most popular videos is necessary to establish what features are more engaging for the audiences and to improve the content and popularity of reliable videos on chronic diseases.
    Keywords:  Systemic lupus erythematosus; YouTube; education; patient education; social media
  14. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2022 May 09. 22(1): 126
      BACKGROUND: Nowadays, patients have access to all types of health information on the internet, influencing their decision-making process. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region consists of 22 countries with an estimated population of around 600 million. Breast cancer is the highest diagnosed cancer in this region. Websites are commonly the go-to cancer information sources. A large population of the MENA region is only fluent in the Arabic language, thus access to Arabic websites is in more demand. However, little is known about breast cancer websites that cater to an Arabic-speaking audience. This study aims at evaluating Arabic breast cancer websites and offering recommendations to improve engagement and access to health information.METHODS: This study employed a cross-sectional analysis approach. Google trends was used to reveal the top searched topics across the MENA region, which in turn were used as search terms to identify the websites. To be included, a website had to be active, available in Arabic, and contain breast cancer information. The evaluation was based on a combination of automated and expert-based evaluation methods through five dimensions: Availability, Accessibility, Readability, Quality, and Popularity.
    RESULTS: Overall most of the websites performed poorly in the five dimensions and require careful reassessment concerning design, content, and readability levels; Only one website performed well in all dimensions, except for readability. Generally, the readability scores indicated that the websites were above the recommended level of reading. None of the websites passed the automated accessibility tests. The expert evaluation using the "Health on the Net" checklist showed good results for most websites.
    CONCLUSIONS: Breast cancer rates are rising in the MENA region, therefore having comprehensive, accurate, trustworthy, and easy-to-understand health information in their native language is a must. The results from this study show a need for improving the accessibility to breast cancer information websites available to Arabic speakers. The search was limited to three search engines yielding 10 websites and only one tool was used per dimension. Future work is needed to overcome these limitations. Collaboration between multiple stakeholders is necessary to develop websites that contain easy-to-read and understand high-quality information.
    Keywords:  Arabic; Availability; Breast cancer; Google trends; Middle East and North Africa; Popularity quality; Readability; WCAG; Website evaluation