Friday, October 29, 2010

In recent literature

I scraped these using ticTOCs, a journal table of contents (free) web based service. I use this in addition to feeds from particular journals and my Google feed reader.

from Biomedical Digital Libraries (links are to full text):

CAMbase – A XML-based bibliographical database on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Technology mediator: a new role for the reference librarian?

from Health Information and Libraries Journal (citation and abstract only):

Urquhart, C., Thomas, R., Ovens, J., Lucking, W., & Villa, J. (2010). Planning changes to health library services on the basis of impact assessment. Health Information & Libraries Journal, (published online in advance of paper pub). doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2010.00900.x 


Background:  Various methods of impact assessment for health library services exist, including a toolkit developed for the UK. The Knowledge, Resource and Information service (KRIS) for health promotion, health service commissioning and public health (Bristol area, UK) commissioned an independent team at Aberystwyth University to provide an impact assessment and evaluation of their services and to provide evidence for future planning.
Objective:  The review aimed to provide an action plan for KRIS through assessing the impact of the current service, extent of satisfaction with existing services and views on desirable improvements.
Methods:  Existing impact toolkit guidance was used, with an adapted impact questionnaire, which was distributed by the KRIS staff to 244 users (response rate 62.3%) in early 2009. The independent team analysed the questionnaire data and presented the findings.
Results:  Users valued the service (93% considered that relevant information was obtained). The most frequent impacts on work were advice to patients, clients or carers, and advice to colleagues. Literature searching and current awareness services saved staff time. Many users were seeking health promotion materials.
Conclusion:  The adapted questionnaire worked well in demonstrating the service impacts achieved by KRIS, as well as indicating desirable improvements in service delivery.
from Consumer Health on the Internet:
DeMarco, J. & Nystrom, M. (2010). The Importance of Health Literacy in Patient Education. Journal of Consumer Health On the Internet, 14(3), 294-301. doi:10.1080/15398285.2010.502021
Low health literacy has a negative impact on a patient's health status and use of the health care system. Patients with low health literacy levels cannot make decisions regarding their health care or follow instructions on medications and health maintenance behaviors. It is the health care provider's responsibility to ensure that patients with low health literacy levels are identified and measures are taken to ensure those patients understand their options and instructions. To educate these patients, health care providers need to develop resources that are easily understood and interview skills that can ensure patient comprehension. This review discusses the prevalence of health literacy and its impact on patients and the health care system, and provides recommendations for creating supplemental literature at the appropriate level. The use of these tools and improved physician interview skills will establish a better physician/patient relationship and continue to encourage patient participation in the health care process.
Mongold, S. (2010). Online Women's Health Resources. Journal of Consumer Health On the Internet, 14(2), 160-166. doi:10.1080/15398281003781063
This article provides general information on women's health, including the leading causes of death, prevention and awareness information, and online resources for consumers seeking answers to personal health questions. The article concludes with an annotated webliography of selected Internet resources that provide information on women's health.

NIH Introduces IMAGES, a Database of Images in Biomedical Literature


NIH Introduces IMAGES, a Database of Images in Biomedical Literature: "

More than 2.5 million images and figures from medical and life sciences journals are now available through Images, a new resource for finding images in biomedical literature. The database was developed and will be maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health. Images is available at

Images is expected to have a wide range of uses for a variety of user groups. These include the clinician looking for the visual representation of a disease or condition, the researcher searching for studies with certain types of analyses, the student seeking diagrams that elucidate complex processes such as DNA replication, the professional or educator looking for an image for a presentation, and the patient wanting to better understand his disease. [NIH News Release]

PubMed Display Enhanced with Images from the New NCBI Images Database


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Health Information in Multiple Languages

Health Information in Multiple Languages:

Federal Citizen Information Center website that lets you order health publications in Spanish very easily, and most of them are free. [REFORMAnet listserv]

Multilingual Publications at NIH Order National Institutes of Health publications in non-English languages.

Consumer Health Information in Many Languages Resources

from Bringing Health Information to the Community (BHIC)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

News, Patient Education, Teaching & Learning in Medicine: October is Health Literacy Month

From an email announcement:

News, Patient Education, Teaching & Learning in Medicine: October is Health Literacy Month: "

October is National Medical Libraries Month in the U.S.

The theme for 2010 is Health Literacy

Here is a screenshot of the poster created by Medical Library Association for this event:

Image credit: Medical Library Association – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

Health science librarians are in a unique position to work with patients and their families who seek current, credible and authoritative medical information in order to learn more about their recent diagnosis, review options for choosing treatments, or to anticipate changes in their lifestyle or living situations after treatment has ended (as examples).

Medical Library Association (MLA), a nonprofit educational organization with 5,000 members worldwide, has devoted time and care over the past decade to develop websites and resource guides specifically targeted at training librarians who provide information services to patients or family members. Their Health Information Literacy page can be viewed at

One of the larger special interest sections sponsored by MLA is Consumer and Patient Information Section (or CAPHIS). A related program directed by MLA staff is the Consumer Health Information initiative, and in 2007, the association created a formal certificate program in that specialty for information professionals.

Open to everyone on the MLA website are topic pages about educational resources. Here are two examples: Resources for Health Consumers and Deciphering Medspeak which links to medical terminology handouts (in English or Spanish languages), online medical dictionary, a prescription shorthand guide and a list of the “Top Ten Most Useful Medical Websites” for patients.


Those pursuing research on strategies to address Low Health Literacy, Health Disparities or Health of Minority Populations, some valuable step-savers are available on the PubMed Special Queries” which provide links to pre-formulated, highly specific search statements (or search queries) that can be run singly in PubMed or combined with other relevant subject searches.

Below are screenshots from two Special Queries websites: Health Literacy and for Health Disparities & Minority Health Populations


Image credit(s): National Library of Medicine – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010


Other teaching or service organizations that offer patient-centered tutorials, podcasts or written information addressing disparities in health care delivery can be found on this very brief list:

  • From a workshop in 2008 sponsored by Society for General Internal Medicine (SGIM), read a 3-page handout on teaching “Health Literacy for the Clinician Educator“at this link. There are many useful links in the bibliography section of this report.


Finally: In May 2010, a 73-page report detailing a National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy was announced by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Resources, Division of Health Literacy. Following is an excerpt from that HHS website, explaining this public health initiative:

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Limited health literacy affects people of all ages, races, incomes, and education levels, but the impact of limited health literacy disproportionately affects lower socioeconomic and minority groups. “

” It affects people’s ability to search for and use health information, adopt healthy behaviors, and act on important public health alerts. Limited health literacy is also associated with worse health outcomes and higher costs…. “

” This report contains seven goals that will improve health literacy and suggests strategies for achieving them: Develop and disseminate health and safety information that is accurate, accessible, and actionable ; promote changes in the health care system that improve health information, communication, informed decision-making, and access to health services ; incorporate accurate, standards-based and developmentally appropriate health and science information and curricula in child care and education through the university level ; support and expand local efforts to provide adult education, English language instruction, and culturally and linguistically appropriate health information services in the community ; build partnerships, develop guidance, and change policies ; increase basic research and the development, implementation, and evaluation of practices and interventions to improve health literacy and increase the dissemination and use of evidence-based health literacy practices and interventions“.

Text Source: – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

Tagged: Consumer Health, Health Literacy, Health Science Libraries - Outreach, Medical Information for Patients, Medical Librarians as Trainers, Medical Library Association, MLA-Consumer Health Information, Patient Education


Monday, October 4, 2010

News from the National Institutes of Health

News from the National Institutes of Health: "

NIH Health Information Spotlight 10/4/2010

Healthy Lifestyles

3 out of 4 children will have at least one ear infection before age 3. How parents can help

Research in Action

Alzheimer’s disease signature seen in spinal fluid.

Now Online

Enhance your science curriculum: free resources for teachers

October NIH News in Health now online

Mystified by Menopause?
A Major Life Transition

The Prostate Prognosis
Don’t Ignore an Uncomfortable Problem

Health Capsules:

  • Virus Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Helping Those You Love from Afar

  • Featured Web Site: Bone Resource Center