bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2022‒01‒23
eighteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2022 Jan;pii: S1532-3382(21)00124-X. [Epub ahead of print]22(1S): 101649
      While dental patient-reported outcomes provide important insight to why patients seek oral health care, finding research literature on these outcomes as well as measures for dental patient-reported outcomes is quite difficult due to a lack of standardization in both indexing terms as well as reporting practices. This results in these outcomes and measures often being underutilized. Librarians and information professionals are experts in navigating and managing research literature. Additionally, librarians are powerful collaborators for evidence-based practice, and can provide support for research methodology design and reporting. This article explores how partnering with librarians and information professionals can benefit clinicians and researchers to further the utilization of dental patient-reported outcomes in patient care.
    Keywords:  Evidence-based practice; Librarians; Patient reported outcome measures; Value-based health care
  2. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2022 Jan 14. 289 384-387
      The National Library of Medicine (NLM) controls and publishes the thesaurus Medical Subject Headings which is used for indexing PubMed. Besides an XML export, the NLM offers a web based MeSH browser. The platform contains English terms. The German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI) partially translated and published these terms. Recently, the German National Library of Medicine (ZB-MED) overtook the translation of MeSH. However, there is no dedicated platform which focuses on MeSH and covers multiple languages. Here, we address this gap, by offering a modern multilingual searchable MeSH browser. A modular platform using open source technology is presented. The frontend enables the user to search and browse terms and switch between different languages. The current version of the presented MeSH browser contains English and German MeSH terms and can be accessed at
    Keywords:  Databases; MeSH-Browser; Medical Subject Headings; Web Service
  3. Health Info Libr J. 2022 Jan 19.
      This is the second of three articles which explore trends in health science libraries. It is based on a series of articles called New Directions in Health Science Libraries published in a HILJ regular feature (International Perspectives and Initiatives) between June 2017 and March 2020. The series covered 12 countries: The United States, Canada, Australia, China, England, two countries in Africa (Uganda and Tanzania) and five in Europe (Sweden, Romania, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland). The commissioning editor identified potential authors and invited them to write a short piece. They were given a briefing sheet which said: 'Your article should serve as a road map, describing the key changes in the field and explain the factors driving the changes'. A review of the 12 articles identified 11 trends. This is the article which explores the trends four trends, using examples provided by the authors. The trends covered are: Involvement in systematic reviews and data synthesis; Professional development for health science librarians; Providing education and training to students, researchers, and clinicians; Supporting the delivery of health literacy.
    Keywords:  case studies; clinical guidelines; continuing professional development (CPD); education and training; education, medical; evidence summaries; information literacy; knowledge synthesis; librarians, health science; national strategies
  4. Health Info Libr J. 2022 Jan 20.
      BACKGROUND: The Critical incident technique (CIT) has been used for decades in the assessment of the impact of library and information services on patient care and clinical decision making.OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this article is to identify and review the studies that have used CIT approach to assess the impact of library and information services on patient care and clinical decision making.
    METHODS: Related articles were searched in the information resources of Web of Science, PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Google Scholar and LISTA.
    RESULTS: From among 1346 articles obtained, 22 met the inclusion criteria. The analysis of the articles indicated that CIT has been used for various purposes such as assessing the information value, assessing the information resources and librarians in their clinical practice and decision making, examining information-seeking behaviour and analysing cost- benefits.
    DISCUSSION: Critical incident technique is a flexible approach for libraries and information services, based on individuals' experiences of finding and using information to help resolve a perceived problem.
    CONCLUSIONS: The studies identified in this review offer a variety of methods for using CIT that other libraries might consider for their own impact studies.
    Keywords:  clinical decision making; critical incident; impact; patient care; review, literature; surveys
  5. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2443 511-525
      Plant Reactome ( and PubChem ( ) are two reference data portals and resources for curated plant pathways, small molecules, metabolites, gene products, and macromolecular interactions. Plant Reactome knowledgebase, a conceptual plant pathway network, is built by biocuration and integrating (bio)chemical entities, gene products, and macromolecular interactions. It provides manually curated pathways for the reference species Oryza sativa (rice) and gene orthology-based projections that extend pathway knowledge to 106 plant species. Currently, it hosts 320 reference pathways for plant metabolism, hormone signaling, transport, genetic regulation, plant organ development and differentiation, and biotic and abiotic stress responses. In addition to the pathway browsing and search functions, the Plant Reactome provides the analysis tools for pathway comparison between reference and projected species, pathway enrichment in gene expression data, and overlay of gene-gene interaction data on pathways. PubChem, a popular reference database of (bio)chemical entities, provides information on small molecules and other types of chemical entities, such as siRNAs, miRNAs, lipids, carbohydrates, and chemically modified nucleotides. The data in PubChem is collected from hundreds of data sources, including Plant Reactome. This chapter provides a brief overview of the Plant Reactome and the PubChem knowledgebases, their association to other public resources providing accessory information, and how users can readily access the contents.
    Keywords:  Biochemical entities; Comparative pathway analysis; Developmental pathway; Gene–gene interaction; Gramene; Metabolic Pathway; Plant Reactome; Plant pathway database; PubChem; Regulatory pathway; Small molecules; Transcriptional network
  6. J Med Internet Res. 2022 Jan 18. 24(1): e27434
      BACKGROUND: The amount of available textual health data such as scientific and biomedical literature is constantly growing and becoming more and more challenging for health professionals to properly summarize those data and practice evidence-based clinical decision making. Moreover, the exploration of unstructured health text data is challenging for professionals without computer science knowledge due to limited time, resources, and skills. Current tools to explore text data lack ease of use, require high computational efforts, and incorporate domain knowledge and focus on topics of interest with difficulty.OBJECTIVE: We developed a methodology able to explore and target topics of interest via an interactive user interface for health professionals with limited computer science knowledge. We aim to reach near state-of-the-art performance while reducing memory consumption, increasing scalability, and minimizing user interaction effort to improve the clinical decision-making process. The performance was evaluated on diabetes-related abstracts from PubMed.
    METHODS: The methodology consists of 4 parts: (1) a novel interpretable hierarchical clustering of documents where each node is defined by headwords (words that best represent the documents in the node), (2) an efficient classification system to target topics, (3) minimized user interaction effort through active learning, and (4) a visual user interface. We evaluated our approach on 50,911 diabetes-related abstracts providing a hierarchical Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) structure, a unique identifier for a topic. Hierarchical clustering performance was compared against the implementation in the machine learning library scikit-learn. On a subset of 2000 randomly chosen diabetes abstracts, our active learning strategy was compared against 3 other strategies: random selection of training instances, uncertainty sampling that chooses instances about which the model is most uncertain, and an expected gradient length strategy based on convolutional neural networks (CNNs).
    RESULTS: For the hierarchical clustering performance, we achieved an F1 score of 0.73 compared to 0.76 achieved by scikit-learn. Concerning active learning performance, after 200 chosen training samples based on these strategies, the weighted F1 score of all MeSH codes resulted in a satisfying 0.62 F1 score using our approach, 0.61 using the uncertainty strategy, 0.63 using the CNN, and 0.45 using the random strategy. Moreover, our methodology showed a constant low memory use with increased number of documents.
    CONCLUSIONS: We proposed an easy-to-use tool for health professionals with limited computer science knowledge who combine their domain knowledge with topic exploration and target specific topics of interest while improving transparency. Furthermore, our approach is memory efficient and highly parallelizable, making it interesting for large Big Data sets. This approach can be used by health professionals to gain deep insights into biomedical literature to ultimately improve the evidence-based clinical decision making process.
    Keywords:  active learning; classification; clinical decision making; clinical decision support; digital health; evidence-based medicine; hierarchical clustering; medical informatics; memory consumption; natural language processing; transparency
  7. J Technol Behav Sci. 2022 Jan 13. 1-13
      Based on decision sciences and information processing theories, how information is acquired is the foundation of decisions and choices subsequently made. Adapting the Active Information Search methodology, the aim for this study is to examine what information potential mental health clients look for in a service provider through their use of search strings. College students (N = 519) from a large public university from the southwest USA (data collection from August to December 2018) were asked in an online survey to imagine themselves needing mental health services and list down the search string they would use in a search engine (e.g., Google). Content analysis indicated seven search string categories: location of nearby services, symptoms, types of services/specialty, asking for advice, questions about resources, questions about whether they have a problem, and looking for the "best." Further, multivariate logistic analysis indicated that gender, psychological distress, perceived normativeness of utilizing mental health services, and type of medical insurance were associated with the type of search string the participant used in searching for mental health services. Understanding how individuals search for mental health services can help guide mental health practitioners in what information should be included in their websites. Further findings and implications are discussed.
    Keywords:  Decision making; Information acquisition; Mental health help seeking; Search string
  8. Med Health Care Philos. 2022 Jan 17.
      With the rapidly expanding catalogue of scientific publications, especially within the Biomedical Sciences field, it is becoming increasingly difficult for researchers to search for, read or even interpret emerging scientific findings. PubMed, just one of the current biomedical data repositories, comprises over 33 million citations for biomedical research, and over 2500 publications are added each day. To further strengthen the impact biomedical research, we suggest that there should be more synergy between publications and machines. By bringing machines into the realm of research and publication, we can greatly augment the assessment, investigation and cataloging of the biomedical literary corpus. The effective application of machine-based manuscript assessment and interpretation is now crucial, and potentially stands as the most effective way for researchers to comprehend and process the tsunami of biomedical data and literature. Many biomedical manuscripts are currently published online in poorly searchable document types, with figures and data presented in formats that are partially inaccessible to machine-based approaches. The structure and format of biomedical manuscripts should be adapted to facilitate machine-assisted interrogation of this important literary corpus. In this context, it is important to embrace the concept that biomedical scientists should also write manuscripts that can be read by machines. It is likely that an enhanced human-machine synergy in reading biomedical publications will greatly enhance biomedical data retrieval and reveal novel insights into complex datasets.
    Keywords:  Interoperability; Machine; Open access; Reproducibility; Research
  9. J Assoc Physicians India. 2022 Jan;70(1): 11-12
      BACKGROUND: Persons with anxiety regarding health may have an increased tendency to seek online health information especially during a pandemic. The primary objective of this study was to determine COVID-19 induced health anxiety among the general population in India using Google Trends data.METHODS: Online health information seeking behaviour with respect to high-risk comorbid conditions for severe COVID-19 disease during the pandemic period was compared to that of the previous year. Correlation between the COVID-19 incidence and online health information seeking behaviour was also computed to explore if the observed health anxiety was due to the pandemic.
    RESULTS: Overall, the online health information seeking behaviour was highest for diabetes both during (81.46±8.84) and before the pandemic (64.47±9.48). A significant increase (p<0.001) in the information seeking behaviour during the pandemic was observed with all the four high-risk comorbid conditions including diabetes (+16.99), hypertension (+22.57), lung disease (+21.79), and cardiovascular disease (+14.08). The behaviour with respect to diabetes (r=0.39), hypertension (r=0.48) and lung disease (r=0.69) showed significant positive correlation with the COVID-19 incidence. The observed health anxiety was regardless of prevalence, urbanization and literacy rates of individual states.
    CONCLUSIONS: The general population in India has increased its online health information seeking behaviour during the pandemic and this may be due to an underlying health anxiety due to COVID-19.
  10. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2022 Jan 17.
      BACKGROUND: Patients often utilize the Internet to seek information related to their care. This study assesses the readability of online patient educational materials for submental fat reduction.METHODS: Patient educational materials from the 12 most popular websites related to submental fat reduction were downloaded and assessed for readability grade level using 10 unique scales.
    RESULTS: Analysis of the 12 most popular websites (and corresponding 47 articles) revealed that patient educational materials were written, on average, at an 11th grade reading level. The Flesch Reading Ease score was 48.9 (range 39.8-59.2), representing a "difficult" level of reading. Mean readability grade levels (range 9-13th grade for individual websites) were as follows: Coleman-Liau, 11.1; Flesch-Kincaid, 10.8; FORCAST, 10.8; Fry Graph, 10.1; Gunning Fog, 12.7; New Dale-Chall, 10.1; New Fog Count, 11.8; Simple Measure of Gobbledygook, 11.7; Raygor, 6.7. No website was at the 6th grade reading level for patient educational materials recommended by the American Medical Association and National Institutes of Health.
    CONCLUSIONS: Online patient educational materials for submental fat reduction are written well above the recommended reading level. Recognition of disparities in health literacy is necessary to enable patients to make informed decisions and become active participants in their own care.
    LEVEL OF EVIDENCE V: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors
    Keywords:  Double chin treatment; Facial plastic surgery; Health information technology; Health literacy; Patient educational materials; Submental fat reduction
  11. Ther Apher Dial. 2022 Jan 20.
      OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus 2019 pandemic has become a serious threat to the global health and spreading rapidly. Dialysis patients may have developed anxiety because of their disease characteristics during this pandemic. The aim of this study was to assess the reliability and quality of the most viewed English-language YouTube videos on COVID-19 and dialysis link.METHOD: A YouTube search was achieved using the key words "COVID-19 dialysis", "SARS CoV-2 dialysis", "coronavirus hemodialysis", "COVID peritoneal dialysis".
    RESULTS: Among the 43 videos analysed, 24 (55.8%) were high quality, 11 (25.6%) were moderate quality, and 8 (18.6%) were of low quality according to global quality score. Significant differences were found between the groups in modified DISCERN scores and the number of views, likes, comments.
    CONCLUSIONS: The most reliable sources such as universities, governments, professional societies should better use YouTube for dissemination of accurate, reliable and useful health-related information to the general public.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Coronavirus; Internet; Kidney; Renal Dialysis
  12. Surgeon. 2022 Jan 12. pii: S1479-666X(21)00203-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: To review whether online decision aids are available for patients contemplating pelvic exenteration (PE) for locally advanced and recurrent rectal cancer (LARC and LRRC).METHODS: A grey literature review was carried out using the Google Search™ engine undertaken using a predefined search strategy (PROSPERO database CRD42019122933). Written health information was assessed using the DISCERN criteria and International Patient Decision Aids Standards (IPDAS) with readability content assessed using the Flesch-Kincaid reading ease test and Flesch-Kincaid grade level score.
    RESULTS: Google search yielded 27, 782, 200 results for the predefined search criteria. 131 sources were screened resulting in the analysis of 6 sources. No sources were identified as a decision aid according to the IPDAS criteria. All sources provided an acceptable quality of written health information, scoring a global score of 3 for the DISCERN written assessment. The median Flesch-Kincaid reading ease was 50.85 (32.5-80.8) equating to a reading age of 15-18 years and the median Flesch-Kincaid grade level score was 7.65 (range 3-9.7), which equates to a reading age of 13-14.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study has found that there is a paucity of online information for patients contemplating PE. Sources that are available are aimed at a high health literate patient. Given the considerable morbidity associated with PE surgery there is a need for high quality relevant information in this area. A PDA should be developed to improve decision making and ultimately improve patient experience.
    Keywords:  DISCERN; Google; IPDAS; Internet based information; Patient decision aid; Pelvic exenteration; Rectal cancer
  13. Arch Osteoporos. 2022 Jan 20. 17(1): 19
      Osteoporosis awareness is essential for preventing osteoporotic fractures. Social media platforms have enormous potential to both support and deter patients' decisions on healthcare. The current study demonstrated that the majority of YouTube videos on osteoporosis provide useful information with sufficient quality.PURPOSE: YouTube is the most popular video-sharing platform for patients seeking online information about their medical condition. However, there are concerns regarding the accuracy and quality of YouTube content. We aimed to analyze the quality of English-language YouTube videos on osteoporosis.
    METHODS: A YouTube search was performed on April 21, 2021, using the keywords "osteoporosis," "osteoporosis exercise," "osteoporosis diet," and "osteoporosis treatment." The reviewers recorded the content, source, and detailed characteristics of the included videos. The reliability and quality of the videos were analyzed using the modified DISCERN score and Global Quality Scale (GQS) score by a rheumatologist and endocrinologist.
    RESULTS: Of the 400 videos screened, 238 were included in the study after applying the exclusion criteria. A total of 205 (86.1%) videos revealed useful information about osteoporosis whereas 33 (13.9%) were misleading. In terms of quality, 48% of the videos were of high quality, 34% were of moderate quality, and 18% were of low quality. The videos posted by universities and professional organizations had the highest modified DISCERN and GQS scores indicating high reliability and quality.
    CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that the majority of YouTube videos on osteoporosis contained useful information with sufficient quality. However, physicians should be aware of misleading information and correct any misinformation during face-to-face meetings with patients. YouTube should consider creating partnerships with professional organizations in the field of osteoporosis to produce high-quality videos in line with their new health content policy.
    Keywords:  Osteoporosis; Quality; Reliability; Social media; YouTube
  14. Surgeon. 2022 Jan 14. pii: S1479-666X(21)00204-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Modern patients use the internet more frequently for their health information. Our aim was to assess the quality and readability of online patient education materials relating to revision knee arthroplasty. We hypothesised that this information would be too difficult to read for the average patient and of a lesser quality than desired.METHOD: A search of the top 50 results on 3 search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) was completed (MeSH "revision knee arthroplasty", "revision knee replacement"). Readability of these websites was calculated using a specialised website, to produce 3 scores (Gunning-Fog (GF), Flesch Reading Ease (FRE), Flesch-Kincaid Grade (FKG). Quality was assessed using the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria and the Health On the Net (HON) code toolbar extension.
    RESULTS: 89 unique websites were identified. Mean FRE was 44.01 ± 11.05. The mean GF was 12.01 ± 2.94. The mean FKG level was 10.06 ± 1.95. As per the FRE score, no webpage was pitched at or below a sixth grade reading level. The GF index identified only 3 websites (3.4%) at 6th grade reading level. As per FKG score, most webpages (n = 58, 65.2%) found themselves in the 10th grade reading level and above. Four websites (4.5%) displayed a HONcode certificate. However, all had expired. Most websites (n = 34, 38.2%) didn't meet any of the JAMA criteria.
    CONCLUSION: The reading level of these materials is too high for the average patient and of a low quality. Given what we know about levels of health literacy and their relationship with patient outcomes, it is vital that we address these deficiencies promptly.
    Keywords:  Health literacy; Orthopaedic surgery; Patient education; Reading level; Revision knee arthroplasty
  15. Obes Surg. 2022 Jan 19.
      PURPOSE: There is no mechanism to control the accuracy and quality of videos on YouTube. However, it is essential to evaluate the quality of videos on YouTube to prevent patients from accessing misleading information. The aim of this study was to assess the quality and reliability of the videos available on YouTube concerning intragastric balloon.MATERIALS AND METHODS: YouTube was searched using the keywords "intragastric balloon" and "gastric balloon." A total of 158 videos were independently analyzed by two bariatric surgeons-endoscopists and were classified as reliable or non-reliable. Video demographics (view, view per day, like, dislike, comment) were analyzed according to the quality and source of the video. The video power index (VPI) was calculated for each video. The modified DISCERN and global quality scores (GQS) were used to rate the reliability and overall quality of the videos.
    RESULTS: Of the included videos, 63.9% were described reliable and 36.1% as non-reliable. The median number of dislikes, comments, views, views per day, and video duration on YouTube did not significantly differ between the two reliability groups. The mean length of the videos, GQS and DISCERN scores, and the median number of likes were significantly higher in the reliable group. The highest median VPI value was determined for the videos uploaded by TV programs.
    CONCLUSION: The number of reliable videos is higher than non-reliable about intragastric balloon on YouTube. However, the reliability and quality of the videos are generally low. The videos uploaded by TV programs are significantly more popular.
    Keywords:  Intragastric balloon; Reliability; YouTube
  16. Gerontology. 2022 Jan 14. 1-8
      INTRODUCTION: The Internet is an important source for health information and a medium for older adults' empowerment in health decision-making and self-caring. Therefore, we aimed to identify the potential motivators and probable barriers of e-health information-seeking behaviors (e-HISB) among older Iranian adults.METHODS: A cross-sectional study assessed the usefulness of self-efficacy, perceived encouragement, positive attitude toward e-HISB, perceived usefulness, challenges of being visited by physicians, and perceived barriers in predicting e-HISB in a sample of 320 older adults in Tabriz, Iran.
    RESULTS: The self-efficacy for online information seeking, positive attitude toward e-HISB, and perceived usefulness increased the odds of e-HISB by 12.00%, 24.00%, and 15.00%, respectively. In addition, e-health literacy, conflicting information, distrust of online information, and web designs that were not senior-friendly were the major barriers to e-HISB.
    DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: The theoretical and practical implications of the motivators and barriers of e-HISB can be instrumental in designing and executing programs aimed at improving e-health literacy among older adults especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; E-health information; Information seeking; Internet; Older adults; Online health
  17. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2022 ;16 51-60
      Purpose: Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are increasingly demanding access to reliable information regarding their disease. The objective of the INFOSEEK-MS study was to assess what are the strategies people with MS use when searching for information on their disease, including sources, frequency, reliability, and preferred content.Patients and Methods: A non-interventional, cross-sectional study was conducted. Patients with a diagnosis of MS according to the 2010 McDonald criteria were included. The InfoSeek questionnaire was used to assess patients' strategies when seeking information about the disease. Clinical characteristics and other variables, including disability, quality of life, fatigue, cognition, anxiety and depression, were analysed using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29), 5-item Modified Fatigue Scale (MFIS-5), Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), respectively.
    Results: Three hundred and two patients were studied (mean age: 42.3 ± 10 years, 64% female, mean disease duration: 9.6 ± 7.0 years, 90% with relapsing-remitting MS, and mean EDSS score: 2.6 ± 1.9). The internet (either via mobile or computer) is a frequently reported source of information. Lifestyle-related information (67.2%), research and emerging treatments (63.6%), symptom control (49.7%), sharing experiences with other patients (46.4%), and disease prognosis (46.4%) were the most searched topics. Neurologists and nurses were the most trusted source of information. Younger patients and higher SDMT scores were associated with all search resources (M = 37.7 and M = 49.97, respectively). The frequency of searches was related to the number of relapses (R2 = 0.07), EDSS (R2 = 0.14), MSIS-29 physical and psychological components (R2 = 0.132) and inversely with depression (R2 = 0.132).
    Conclusion: Although healthcare professionals are considered the most reliable source of information for people with MS, searching for information on the Internet is very frequent. An individualized information strategy considering the different factors involved is needed.
    Keywords:  healthcare professionals; information sources; internet; multiple sclerosis; quality of life
  18. Health Informatics J. 2022 Jan-Mar;28(1):28(1): 14604582211070998
      For many people, the Internet is their primary source of knowledge in today's modern world. Internet users frequently seek health-related information in order to better understand a health problem, seek guidance, or diagnose symptoms. Unfortunately, most of this information is inaccurate or unreliable, making it difficult for regular users to discern reliable sources of information. To determine online source reliability, specific knowledge and domain expertise are necessary. Researchers in health informatics studied a number of linguistic and non-linguistic indicators to assist ordinary individuals in judging medical web page credibility. This study proposes a method that automates the process of assessing the reliability of online medical sites based on textual and non-textual characteristics. To evaluate the proposed approach, we developed a real-world dataset of Arabic web pages that provide medical information. This dataset is the first Arabic medical web page dataset for content credibility evaluation. The hybrid approach was assessed using multiple machine learning and deep learning algorithms on the dataset, providing an accuracy and F1-score of 79% and 77%, respectively. We also identify the most observable patterns that help evaluate or detect unreliable web pages written in Arabic.
    Keywords:  content credibility; deep learning health websites; machine learning; natural language processing