Monday, June 6, 2011

New Cochrane publication - on CAMs

Monday, February 14, 2011

Using and writing reviews to inform your practice

Using and writing reviews to inform your practice:


Reviews are seen as a way of exploiting existing data or research findings more fully and can offer a summarised insight into the current understanding of the evidence. Library and information science (LIS) workers can use reviews to inform their decision-making and service planning. Although the LIS evidence base continues to grow there will frequently be times when no published reviews are available. In these instances, you may consider undertaking your own review. Different types of review require different approaches and, by deciding from the outset what kind of review yours will be, will inform your methodology. Guidelines on writing reviews for the Health Information and Libraries Journal are presented.

Quoted from Health Information & Libraries, author Anthea Sutton.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

it’s tax time again…

A valuable tip from from it’s tax time again…: "

And here is some advice I’ve pulled off of the VTLIBRARIES mailing list about tax assistance for people with disabilities. Here is an obligatory link to an article outlining the effect on some public libraries (in Maine in this case) who are dealing with the fact that people are not getting mailed paper tax forms unless they request them. Currently about 70% of Americans file their taxes electronically.

“Hundreds of the most popular federal tax forms and publications are available for download from for sight impaired individuals. These products range from talking tax forms to Braille formats, and are accessible using screen reading software, refreshable Braille displays and voice recognition software. Click on the links below to download these forms and publications:

Download Accessible Tax Forms (Braille and Text Formats)

Download Accessible Tax Publications (Braille and Text Formats)

Download Accessible Talking Tax Forms

Download Tax Instructions (Large Print Format)

Download Tax Publications (Large Print Format)

The IRS also offers customer service assistance for persons who are deaf or who have hearing disabilities. People with TTY equipment may call 800-829-4059, which is a toll-free number, for assistance.

People who are unable to complete their tax return because of a physical disability may get assistance from an IRS office, or through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) sponsored by the IRS. Taxpayers can find a nearby location by calling 1-800-906-9887 or checking the partial list on the IRS’s website.

Publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities, explains the tax implications of certain disability benefits and other issues, and is available at

Visit and click on the word “accessibility” for help and information.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Learning To Make Better Decisions In Life With The Aid Of Onlne Computer Games

Learning To Make Better Decisions In Life With The Aid Of Onlne Computer Games: "

by Medical News Today

A prototype computer game has been developed to help improve decision making skills in all aspects of our lives. Supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a team at Queen’s University Belfast has developed a prototype that could be built on by commercial games manufacturers and turned into an e-learning or training tool for professionals in all walks of life – and for the general public too.

Try out the game here:

Complete article:

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Minority Health Webcast

Minority Health Webcast: "

32nd Annual Minority Health Conference and broadcast of the 13th Annual William T. Small, Jr. Keynote Lecture

“The Promise of Health Equity: Advancing the Discussion to Eliminate Disparities in the 21st Century”

Friday, February 25, 2011, 2:00-3:30pm EST).

Dr. Bonnie M. Duran, associate professor at the University of Washington and Director of the Center for Indigenous Health Research, will give the 13th Annual William T. Small, Jr. Keynote Lecture at the 32nd Annual Minority Health Conference presented by the Minority Student Caucus, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Duran’s lecture will be broadcast as a free, interactive webcast.

Quoted in full from Bringing Healthcare to the Community

Friday, January 14, 2011

National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council: New initiative inviting public comment

Excerpted from the National Prevention Council site, and reported in the HLS listserv, along with the comment that "
The Council's draft recommendations are available at :" - Make sure to see below this quote for another part of the posted message, which is the MLA official response to the draft.
On June 10, 2010 the President signed an Executive Order creating the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council. The National Prevention Council, chaired by Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, is charged with providing coordination and leadership at the federal level and among all executive departments and agencies with respect to prevention, wellness and health promotion practices. With input from the public and interested stakeholders, the National Prevention Council is charged with developing a National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy (National Prevention Strategy) by March 23, 2011.

The National Prevention Strategy provides an unprecedented opportunity to shift the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on wellness and prevention. It will present a vision, goals, recommendations and action items that public, private, nonprofit organizations and individuals can take to reduce preventable death, disease and disability in the United States.

MLA Comments

1. What are your suggestions on the Draft Vision, Goals, Strategic
Directions, or Recommendations?

The Medical Library Association (MLA) supports the National Prevention
Council's draft vision statement, goals, strategic directions and
recommendations to shift the nation's focus from one based on sickness
and disease to one based on wellness and prevention. MLA maintains that
developing and promoting the use of scientific evidence in making
healthcare decisions and improving the public's awareness of, access to,
and use of quality health information will support quality health care
and promote health.

MLA believes that ensuring that health professionals and the public have
access to timely, relevant, accurate, high quality health information
and supporting the development of the public's health literacy skills
will facilitate successful accomplishment of many of the recommendations
outlined in the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy.

2. What evidence-based actions should the federal government take to
address the Draft Recommendations?

* Encourage access to high-quality, relevant, evidence based
health information through the services of a professional health
sciences librarian. Americans are being challenged to seek information
that will promote their health and help prevent disease. Studies show
that there is an overwhelming amount of information on the Internet, but
people need information training, and skills to understand what makes
information valid. Librarians provide that training (1). Further, Google
and other Internet search engines still access only a small percentage
of available health-related information, and cannot perform searches
using a controlled vocabulary and extensive limits and do not search
databases that reside behind firewalls or sites requiring internal
searches. Librarians have the skills and training to help the public
find accurate, relevant, and timely health and wellness information to
support just-in-time needs and to help them access trusted and reliable
health websites (2). Research studies suggest that professionally led
library services have an impact on health outcomes for patients (3).

* Take advantage of existing health information and information
programs and services. As Congress works to address the federal budget
deficit, developing strategies that seek to leverage existing programs
and resources is becoming increasingly important. A vast portfolio of
information resources offered by agencies across the Department of
Health and Human Services already exist and are available to the public
and health professionals. Utilizing these resources is a cost-savings
strategy that also helps ensure the public has access to high quality,
relevant information. Of the 278 million Internet searches conducted
every day, 12.5 million are health related. With the overwhelming amount
of information on the Internet, consumers need access to high quality,
trustworthy information found in databases such as the National Library
of Medicine's consumer database, MedlinePlus (
), which offers information on more than
850 health topics. NLM's PUBMED CENTRAL (
) has proven to be an important and well
used resource. This digital archive provides the public, clinicians and
researchers with free online access to a growing collection of full-text
biomedical journal articles and is accessed by 420,000 unique users per
day who download approximately 700,000 full text articles per day. A
significant fraction of this use comes from the general public.

Other popular online resources such as NIHSeniorHealth, CDC Healthy
Living, and AHRQ's Consumers and Patients website, also provide a wealth
of information on topics addressing wellness and health promotion to
disease intervention. These initiatives highlight the importance of
interagency collaboration to leverage access to existing and new
resources and services.

1. Medical Library Association. Myths and truths about library services
[powerpoint]. [Internet] Chicago, IL: The Association: 2008,
[cited 10 Jan. 2011].

2. Henderson J. Google scholar: a source for clinicians? CMAJ

3. Weightman AL, Williamson J. The value and impact of information
provided through library services for patient care: a systematic review.
Health Information and Libraries Journal 2005;22(1):4-25.

* Develop health literacy education programs. Healthy outcomes
and health literacy are interconnected. The Medical Library
Association's 2008 Health Information Literacy Research Project found
that low health literacy is linked to under-utilization of preventive
services, poor knowledge about health, and poor health outcomes. For
example, women with low health literacy are less likely to have had a
mammogram or Pap test than women with higher literacy skills. Low health
literacy is associated with less knowledge and understanding of one's
own health status. One study showed that among patients with diabetes,
low health literacy is associated with poor disease management and
outcomes. Another study showed that 94% of diabetic patients with high
health literacy knew what to do if they experienced hypoglycemic
symptoms while only 50% of those with how health literacy knew what to
do (1). A review of the project's results can be found in Journal of the
Medical Library Association (2).

1. Medical Library Association. Putting information into health
literacy: the health information literacy curriculum [Internet].
Chicago, IL: The Association [cited 10 Jan 2011].

2. Shipman, JS, Kurtz-Rossi, S, Funk, CJ. The Health Information
Literacy Research Project. [Internet]. J Med Lib Assoc., 2009 Oct;
97(4):293-301. [cited 10 Jan 2011].

3. What evidence-based actions should partners (national, state,
Tribal, local, and Territorial governments, non-profit, and private)
take to address the Draft Recommendations?

Encourage collaborative initiatives at the regional, state, and national
levels to support access to health information and the provision of
health literacy education opportunities. Studies show that collaboration
provides excellent opportunities to strengthen partnerships that fulfill
many public health information needs. The Partners in Information Access
for the Public Health Workforce initiative
, a collaboration of U.S. government agencies,
public health organizations and health sciences libraries, is an
effective and unique public-private collaboration which provides timely,
convenient access to selected public health resources on the Internet.
Participating partners, including the National Library of Medicine (NLM)
and the Medical Library Association (MLA), are working to ensure that
the public workforce have the tools and resources to find and use
information effectively to improve and protect the public's health. This
collaboration provides excellent opportunities to strengthen the
partnership between library science and public health in the use of
health information and tools for purposes of improving and protecting
the public's health (1).

MLA's Health Information Literacy (HIL) research study found that health
care providers responded positively to a health information literacy
curriculum offered by librarians and to related resources and services,
namely MedlinePlus ( )
and the information referral system known as Information Rx ( ). The study showed
that a librarian-taught health information literacy curriculum did raise
awareness about the issue among health care providers and increased both
the use of National Library of Medicine consumer health resources and
referrals to librarians for health information literacy support (2).

Collaboration also strengthens the effectiveness of outreach programs to
overcome health literacy challenges and health disparities. For example,
since 2001, the Santa Clara California Medical Center, Santa Clara
County Library, and Plane Tree Health Library have partnered to operate
a center for health literacy on the Medical Center campus to provide
information on a variety of medical topics and conditions in English,
Spanish, and Vietnamese in a variety of formats with a focus on
east-to-read materials (3). The National Library of Medicine's Health
Disparities Strategic Plan and Budget for Fiscal Years 2009-2013
builds upon a long history of library programs and
services that support the NIH's efforts to understand and eliminate
health disparities between minority and majority populations. Programs
such as NLM's Tribal Connections Project, conducted in collaboration
with the Pacific Northwest Regional Medical Library (PNRML), are
improving tribal access to health information available over the
Internet and Web, forging new partnerships, demonstrating the key role
of tribal community involvement and empowerment, and contributing to the
evolving concept of community-based outreach (4).

1. Cahn, MA, Auston, I, Selden, CR, Cogdill, K, et al. The Partners in
Information Access for the Public Health Workforce: a collaboration to
improve and protect the public's health, 1995-2006. [Internet]. J Med
Lib Assoc., 2007 Jul;95(3):301-309. [cited 10 Jan 2011]

2. Shipman, JS, Kurtz-Rossi, S, Funk, CJ. The Health Information
Literacy Research Project. [Internet]. J Med Lib Assoc., 2009 Oct;
97(4):293-301. [cited 10 Jan 2011].

3. Parker, R, Kreps, GL. Library outreach: overcoming health literacy
challenges. [Internet]. J Med Lib Assoc., 2005 Oct, 93(4 Suppl):S81-S85.

4. Wood, FB, Sahali, R, Press, N, Burroughs, C, Mala, TA, Siegel, ER,
Rambo, N, Fuller, SS. Tribal connections health information outreach:
results, evaluation, and challenges. J Med Lib Assoc., 2003

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Welcome to LS 5483 - Consumer Health Information Resources!

For those who were in the course last semester, you'll recognize the blog (I hope!) as one used to share news and interesting articles with one another. I have added each of you who are registered for the course as blog authors, and would appreciate your sharing new and cool things YOU find, as well. Let's keep each other aware - that's what it takes!