bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2022‒06‒19
fifteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Health Info Libr J. 2022 Jun 15.
      BACKGROUND: Public librarians often address patron inquiries regarding health concerns. However, prior research indicates that public librarians may be unprepared to meet the health information requests of patrons.OBJECTIVE: This study examined the availability of health-themed courses in American Library Association (ALA) accredited Master of Library and Information Studies/Science (MLIS) programs.
    METHODS: Accredited MLIS programs were identified using the ALA directory. Curricula were reviewed for health content and public librarianship, children's, and young adult concentrations. Descriptive and bivariate analyses assessed the percent of programs that offered various health-related course content and the differences in availability of such content.
    RESULTS: Of the 59 accredited MLIS programs, only 35 (59.32%) listed at least one health elective and none listed a required health course. No MLIS programs that had a public library concentration (n = 21) listed a required or elective health course, two programs with a children's concentration (n = 25) listed health course electives, and one program with a young adult concentration (n = 25) listed a health course elective.
    CONCLUSION: ALA-accredited MLIS programs should consider increasing their offerings or requiring health-related courses to improve the training of public librarians to meet the health information needs of communities.
    Keywords:  consumer health information; education and training; health information needs; librarians; libraries; public
  2. Technol Soc. 2022 Jun 10. 102012
      The Dark Web (i.e., the anonymous web or Darknet) contains potentially harmful COVID-19-related information and content such as conspiracy theories and forged certificates. The Dark Web may particularly attract individuals who are suspicious about the pandemic, but there is no research concerning the use of the Dark Web as a COVID-19 information source. In this study, we investigated the role of COVID-19 skepticism, online activities, and loneliness in the use of the Dark Web platforms as a COVID-19 information source. The data (N = 3000) were gathered in April 2021 from 18 to 75-year-old respondents from Finland (n = 1000), Sweden (n = 1000) and the United Kingdom (n = 1000). The respondents were asked how often they had utilized Dark Web platforms (for example via TOR-network) as a COVID-19 information source during the pandemic. Self-reported measures of institutional trust, anti-vaccine stances, restriction obedience, online activities, and loneliness were used as predictors in the logistic regression model. Age, gender, and education were also included in the model. The Dark Web use was more prevalent in the UK and Sweden. There was an association between anti-vaccine stances and active Dark Web use in the UK and Sweden, while low institutional trust predicted use among Finnish respondents. In all countries, restriction disobedience was related to Dark Web use as a COVID-19 information source. Frequent online gambling, increased social media use, and loneliness predicted Dark Web use, and these associations were even stronger among frequent Dark Web users than occasional users. Younger age and male gender were also associated with Dark Web use. The unregulated nature of the Dark Web makes it a risky alternative to COVID-19 information, attracting individuals who are suspicious about the pandemic and overall active online users. Misleading information and availability of forged certificates on the Dark Web challenge official health policies, posing significant risks for both individual and public health.
    Keywords:  Anonymity; COVID-19; Dark web; Misinformation; Online information; Social media
  3. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2496 1-16
      The published biomedical articles are the best source of knowledge to understand the importance of biomedical entities such as disease, drugs, and their role in different patient population groups. The number of biomedical literature available and being published is increasing at an exponential rate with the use of large scale experimental techniques. Manual extraction of such information is becoming extremely difficult because of the huge number of biomedical literature available. Alternatively, text mining approaches receive much interest within biomedicine by providing automatic extraction of such information in more structured format from the unstructured biomedical text. Here, a text mining protocol to extract the patient population information, to identify the disease and drug mentions in PubMed titles and abstracts, and a simple information retrieval approach to retrieve a list of relevant documents for a user query are presented. The text mining protocol presented in this chapter is useful for retrieving information on drugs for patients with a specific disease. The protocol covers three major text mining tasks, namely, information retrieval, information extraction, and knowledge discovery.
    Keywords:  Information extraction; Information retrieval; Knowledge discovery; Literature mining; Natural language processing; Text mining
  4. J Biomed Inform. 2022 Jun 09. pii: S1532-0464(22)00134-4. [Epub ahead of print]131 104118
      OBJECTIVE: To propose a new vector-based relatedness metric that derives word vectors from the intrinsic structure of biomedical ontologies, without consulting external resources such as large-scale biomedical corpora.MATERIALS AND METHODS: SNOMED CT on the mapping layer of UMLS was used as a testbed ontology. Vectors were created for every concept at the end of all semantic relations-attribute-value relations and descendants as well as is_a relation-of the defining concept. The cosine similarity between the averages of those vectors with respect to each defining concept was computed to produce a final semantic relatedness.
    RESULTS: Two benchmark sets that include a total of 62 biomedical term pairs were used for evaluation. Spearman's rank coefficient of the current method was 0.655, 0.744, and 0.742 with the relatedness rated by physicians, coders, and medical experts, respectively. The proposed method was comparable to a word-embedding method and outperformed path-based, information content-based, and another multiple relation-based relatedness metrics.
    DISCUSSION: The current study demonstrated that the addition of attribute relations to the is_a hierarchy of SNOMED CT better conforms to the human sense of relatedness than models based on taxonomic relations. The current approach also showed that it is robust to the design inconsistency of ontologies.
    CONCLUSION: Unlike the previous vector-based approach, the current study exploited the intrinsic semantic structure of an ontology, precluding the need for external textual resources to obtain context information of defining terms. Future research is recommended to prove the validity of the current method with other biomedical ontologies.
    Keywords:  Natural language processing; Relatedness; SNOMED CT; Similarity; UMLS; Word vector
  5. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2496 283-299
      Text mining is an important research area to be explored in terms of understanding disease associations and have an insight in disease comorbidities. The reason for comorbid occurrence in any patient may be genetic or molecular interference from any other processes. Comorbidity and multimorbidity may be technically different, yet still are inseparable in studies. They have overlapping nature of associations and hence can be integrated for a more rational approach. The association rule generally used to determine comorbidity may also be helpful in novel knowledge prediction or may even serve as an important tool of assessment in surgical cases. Another approach of interest may be to utilize biological vocabulary resources like UMLS/MeSH across a patient health information and analyze the interrelationship between different health conditions. The protocol presented here can be utilized for understanding the disease associations and analyze at an extensive level.
    Keywords:  Disease comorbidity; Information extraction; Information retrieval; Natural language processing; Text mining
  6. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2496 17-39
      Genes and proteins form the basis of all cellular processes and ensure a smooth functioning of the human system. The diseases caused in humans can be either genetic in nature or may be caused due to external factors. Genetic diseases are mainly the result of any anomaly in gene/protein structure or function. This disruption interferes with the normal expression of cellular components. Against external factors, even though the immunogenicity of every individual protects them to a certain extent from infections, they are still susceptible to other disease-causing agents. Understanding the biological pathway/entities that could be targeted by specific drugs is an essential component of drug discovery. The traditional drug target discovery process is time-consuming and practically not feasible. A computational approach could provide speed and efficiency to the method. With the presence of vast biomedical literature, text mining also seems to be an obvious choice which could efficiently aid with other computational methods in identifying drug-gene targets. These could aid in initial stages of reviewing the disease components or can even aid parallel in extracting drug-disease-gene/protein relationships from literature. The present chapter aims at finding drug-gene interactions and how the information could be explored for drug interaction.
    Keywords:  ADR; Drug–disease–target; Drug–gene interaction; Functional annotation; Polymorphism; Text mining
  7. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2022 Jun 14.
      AIM: This review aimed to evaluate the quality of medicalinformation online for patients relating to vulvodynia. To our knowledge no evaluation of online patient information exists regarding vulvodynia and, at present, there is no standardized or validated method of evaluating medical information on the internet.METHODS: A clearly defined protocol was developed to generate keywords relating to vulvodynia. The three most popular search engines worldwide;,, and, were searched in September 2020. Three assessors evaluated eligible webpages for accuracy, credibility, readability, and reliability.
    RESULTS: Forty-five webpages were eligible with 38% given HON certification or Information Standard approval. Only one webpage achieved a DISCERN score of ≥63 indicating excellent reliability. No webpages scored a maximum 10 points for credibility. Eleven percent of webpages were rated "accurate" with score 17 or above. The modal Flesch Kincaid Grade Level was 9 with only 15.6% having a readability grade level of 8 or less.
    CONCLUSIONS: It has been shown in previous studies that patient information available online pertaining to gynecological conditions is frequently inaccurate, with limited regulation and low reliability, and our findings are in agreement with this. As patients increasingly look to the internet for medical information and education, we as clinicians, need to ensure the resources available are of a high standard and regulated. Without ensuring safe and effective healthcare resources, we risk misinformation which can negatively impact clinical care.
    Keywords:  internet; online; systematic review; vulvodynia; web
  8. J Orthop Sci. 2022 Jun 08. pii: S0949-2658(22)00123-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to quantify the readability and quality of patient materials on the websites of the Japanese Orthopaedic Association and related orthopaedic societies.METHODS: We analyzed 143 online patient materials of seven societies, including the Japanese Orthopaedic Association and related six societies. The readability of the text in the material was quantified using two web-based programs ("Obi-3" and "Readability Research Lab") and lexical density. The materials with a difficulty level ≤ second grade of junior high school were classified as "average difficulty," and those ≤ sixth grade of elementary school were classified as "easy to read." The quality of the materials was quantified using the validated Clear Communication Index, DISCERN, and Journal of American Medical Association benchmark criteria scores. The proportion of materials classified as sufficient quality was determined. The measurement values were compared among societies using Kruskal-Wallis tests.
    RESULTS: The median difficulty level of the overall materials was the third grade of junior high school using the Obi-3 program. Only 44 (31%) were classified as average difficulty, and none were classified as easy to read. Based on lexical density, 31 (22%) materials were classified as average difficulty. The median Clear Communication Index score was 18 points out of 100. The median DISCERN and Journal of American Medical Association benchmark criteria scores were 27 (out of 75) and 0 (out of 4), respectively. Only one material met the criteria as having sufficient quality. There were significant differences among societies in the lexical density, Clear Communication Index, and DISCERN scores.
    CONCLUSIONS: The patient materials on the Japanese Orthopaedic Association and related society websites were too difficult to understand. Furthermore, the quality of the materials was not sufficient. Improvement in readability and quality may be necessary to enhance patient-physician communication.
    Keywords:  Health literacy; Online patient material; Patient-physician communication; Readability
  9. Foot Ankle Spec. 2022 Jun 13. 19386400221097567
      Background. There are limited data on the quality and content of videos discussing total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) on the YouTube video platform. Methods. The first 60 unique YouTube videos resulting from the keyword query "ankle arthroplasty" and "ankle replacement" were analyzed for comprehensiveness and quality. Content was assessed using the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria, DISCERN, Global Quality Scale (GQS), and an arthroplasty-specific score. Results. Videos demonstrated low mean DISCERN (49.2/80), GQS (3.2/5), and arthroplasty-specific scores (4.3/12) with substantial variability between videos. Most of the content was produced by nonacademic physicians (46.7%) and academic sources (21.7%). Academic videos saw significantly higher mean JAMA scores (P = .013) but were otherwise comparable to non-academic physicians. Commercial content demonstrated significantly low-quality scores compared to academic (P = .012) and physician (P = .008) sources despite the highest mean viewership. Conclusions. Information on TAA on the YouTube platform is highly variable based on video source, with generally poor quality and content.Level of Evidence: Level V, systemic review of non-peer reviewed resources.
    Keywords:  YouTube; information; internet; total ankle arthroplasty
  10. Beyoglu Eye J. 2022 ;7(2): 134-139
      Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the quality and reliability of videos on Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) on YouTube.Methods: A search of YouTube was performed for the term "FECD" without any changes to the website's standard search preferences. The first 100 videos were recorded. A total of 71 videos were evaluated regarding the DISCERN score (min-max: 16-75), Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) score (min-max: 0-4), and Global Quality Scale (GQS) score (min-max: 0-5).
    Results: The mean DISCERN score was 40.1±15.6 (moderate), the mean JAMA score was 2.01±0.7 (poor), the mean GQS score was 2.5±1.3 (moderate), and the mean video power index score was 106.8±135.7. Twenty-three of the videos (32.4%) were uploaded by physicians, 25 (35.2%) by universities/private hospitals, and 21 (29.6%) by health channels. Thirty-six videos (50.7%) contained information about the disease, 24 (33.8%) discussed surgical techniques, and 11 (15.5%) were about patient experience.
    Conclusion: YouTube provides only moderate-quality health information on FECD. Physicians and professional organizations should be aware of and embrace this evolving technology to raise awareness about FECD.
    Keywords:  DISCERN score; Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy; Global Quality Scale score; Journal of the American Medical Association score; YouTube
  11. J Fr Ophtalmol. 2022 Jun 11. pii: S0181-5512(22)00232-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      PURPOSE: To evaluate the content, reception and quality of YouTube videos on intravitreal injection (IVI) procedures as an educational resource for patients.METHODS: Our study was a retrospective, cross-sectional, register-based study. The terms "intravitreal injection," "intravitreal injection treatment," "eye injection," "eye injection treatment," "dexamethasone intraocular injection," "anti-VEGF injection," "Ozurdex®," "Lucentis®," and "Eylea®" were searched on YouTube. Video duration, total views, number of likes, number of dislikes, and number of comments were recorded. Quality and reliability of video content was assessed using the DISCERN questionnaire, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) score, and the Global Quality Score (GQS). The video power index (VPI) was used to determine the popularity of the videos.
    RESULTS: One hundred eleven videos were included in the study. The mean duration was 4.30minutes, and the mean number of views was 27,415.90. The mean DISCERN, JAMA, and GQS scores were 45.39±9.7, 1.76±0.49, and 3.60±0.84 respectively. The mean VPI was 12.16±35.56 (0-277.80). Video publishers were as follows: 31 (27.9%) private hospital YouTube channels, 17 (15.3%) ophthalmologists, 45 (40.5%) health-related YouTube channels, 18 (16.2%) "other channels." Seventy-two (64.9%) of the main narrators of the videos were ophthalmologists. The DISCERN, GQS and JAMA scores were correlated (P = 0.001). There was no correlation between the VPI scores and the DISCERN, JAMA and GQS scores (P = 0.05).
    CONCLUSION: This study showed that YouTube videos on IVIs contain moderately useful information for patients. YouTube videos may be helpful for patients seeking information about IVIs, but physicians must be careful to correct any misunderstandings.
    Keywords:  DISCERN; GQS; Injection intravitréenne; Intravitreal injection; JAMA; Quality of YouTube videos; Qualité des vidéos YouTube; YouTube
  12. JMIR Form Res. 2022 Jun 15. 6(6): e34708
      BACKGROUND: The transmission of health information from in-person communication to web-based sources has changed over time. Patients can find, understand, and use their health information without meeting a health care provider and are able to participate more in their health care management. In recent years, the internet has emerged as the primary source of health information, although clinical providers remain the most credible source. The ease of access, anonymity, and busy schedules may be motivating factors to seek health information on the web. Social media has surfaced as a popular source of health information, as it can provide news in real time. The increase in the breadth and depth of health information available on the web has also led to a plethora of misinformation, and individuals are often unable to discern facts from fiction. Competencies in health literacy (HL) can help individuals better understand health information and enhance patient decision-making, as adequate HL is a precursor to positive health information-seeking behaviors (HISBs). Several factors such as age, sex, and socioeconomic status are known to moderate the association between HL and HISBs.OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to examine the relationship between HL and HISBs in individuals living in a southern state in the United States by considering different demographic factors.
    METHODS: Participants aged ≥18 years were recruited using Qualtrics Research Services and stratified to match the statewide demographic characteristics of race and age. Demographics and source and frequency of health information were collected. The Health Literacy Questionnaire was used to collect self-reported HL experiences. SPSS (version 27; IBM Corp) was used for the analysis.
    RESULTS: A total of 520 participants met the criteria and completed the survey (mean age 36.3, SD 12.79 years). The internet was cited as the most used source of health information (mean 2.41, SD 0.93). Females are more likely to seek health information from physicians than males (r=0.121; P=.006). Older individuals are less likely to seek health information from the internet (r=-0.108; P=.02), social media (r=-0.225; P<.001), and friends (r=-0.090; P=.045) than younger individuals. Cluster analysis demonstrated that individuals with higher levels of HISBs were more likely to seek information from multiple sources than those with lower levels of HISBs (mean range 3.05-4.09, SD range 0.57-0.66; P<.001).
    CONCLUSIONS: Age and sex are significantly associated with HISB. Older adults may benefit from web-based resources to monitor their health conditions. Higher levels of HL are significantly associated with greater HISB. Targeted strategies to improve HISB among individuals with lower levels of HL may improve their access, understanding, and use of health information.
    Keywords:  digital literacy; health information–seeking behavior; health literacy; health literacy questionnaire; information retrieval
  13. J Reprod Infant Psychol. 2022 Jun 15. 1-15
      BACKGROUND: Pregnant women often turn to the internet as a primary source of pregnancy-related information. However, there is great concern about the accuracy of health-related information on the internet, making research on women's internet behaviours and decision-making critically important. Previous research has been conducted within a number of distinct but related fields, yet existing review papers have often failed to connect across the various disciplines.OBJECTIVE: This review aims to synthesise the large and cross-disciplinary body of literature on women's health information-seeking internet behaviour regarding pregnancy and childbirth.
    METHODS: A narrative literature review, which includes research from both health and social sciences, was conducted.
    RESULTS: Findings address the 'who, where, what, why, and how' of information-seeking behaviour on the internet, with suggestions for future research in each area further discussed.
    CONCLUSIONS: Additional research which addresses the remaining gaps in the literature can help providers be more aware of their patients' informational needs. Providers can be an important source of information, while also helping guide their patients on how to evaluate information. Enhanced patient portals and communication platforms can help to provide more timely and reliable information. Providing their patients with guides can be important for fostering enhanced health literacy.
    Keywords:  Pregnancy; health; information-seeking; interdisciplinary; internet usage
  14. Addict Behav Rep. 2022 Dec;16 100399
      Introduction: Chemsex refers to using illicit substances to facilitate sexual experiences in men who have sex with men. Chemsex has been linked to significant negative impacts on psychological, social, and physical wellbeing. Little is known about information-seeking behaviours in this population. This study aims to provide an in-depth understanding of seeking and engaging with health information.Methods: Self-identified Australian sexual minority men who engage in chemsex (N = 184) participated in an anonymous cross-sectional survey. Variables included chemsex engagement, knowledge, perception and use of harm-reduction information, and associated health and support services. Pearson correlation and ANOVAs were conducted. Wilcoxon-Signed-Rank and Friedman tests were applied to analyse the perceived trustworthiness of information sources.
    Results: Chemsex represented a meaningful part of sexual events. Most participants knew where to access professional help and harm-reduction information but worried about being judged. Most did not feel comfortable discussing chemsex with health professionals except with sexual health doctors/counsellors. Few users discussed health risks with a professional. Information on chemsex was received through multiple sources with significant differences in perceived relevance and trustworthiness, with sexual health doctors/nurses ranked the most trustworthy information. Interest in non-traditional sources of information was low except for formal peer networks and anonymous personal expert advice.
    Conclusion: Engagement with health professionals and harm-reduction information is limited in this population, despite high risk and potentially significant adverse health outcomes. Results suggest that new and combined approaches are necessary to reach this population, including peer support networks, anonymous personal advice and changing community attitudes towards chemsex.
    Keywords:  Health promotion; Health services; LGBT health; Men who have sex with men; Sexualised substance use
  15. J Med Internet Res. 2022 Jun 13. 24(6): e31148
      BACKGROUND: Users with experience of eating disorders use the internet as a source of information, whether for prorecovery activities (such as web-based treatment, looking for information, support, and sharing) or activities that promote eating disorder behavior as a desirable lifestyle choice (such as pro-eating disorder communities and reading and creating pro-eating disorder posts). Their assessment of web-based eating disorder-related information is crucial for understanding the context of the illness and for health professionals and their web-based interventions.OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to understand the criteria young women with the experience of eating disorders use in evaluating eating disorder-related web-based information and what eating disorder-related characteristics of these women are involved in their evaluation.
    METHODS: We analyzed 30 semistructured individual interviews with Czech women aged 16 to 28 years with past or present eating disorder experience using a qualitative approach. Thematic analysis was adopted as an analytical tool.
    RESULTS: The specifics of eating disorder phases (the disorder stage and the treatment process) emerged as important aspects in the process of information assessment. Other specific characteristics of respondents (eg, motivation, abilities, and resources) addressed how the respondents arrived at certain web-based information and how they evaluated it. In addition, the respondents described some content cues as features of information (eg, novelty and social information pooling). Another finding is that other users' attitudes, experiences, activities, and personal features are involved in the information evaluation of these users and the information presented by them. Finally, the respondents evaluated the websites' visual look and graphic components.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that web-based information evaluation reported by women with experience of eating disorders is a complex process. The assessment is influenced by current personal characteristics related to the illness (mainly the motivation for maintaining or curing the eating disorder) using cues associated with information content, other users, and website look. The study findings have important implications for health professionals, who should ask their clients questions about web-based communities and their needs to understand what information and sources they choose.
    Keywords:  Czech women; eating disorders; web-based health information