Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] Who is making your medical app?

Who is making your medical app?.

Buyer beware!!
iMedicalApps was created for health professionals. The reviewed apps are basically for professional use.
However, there the Forum section (now offline for revision) did at one time include a health science librarian section which I believe included consumer level app reviews/advice.

From the [15 ?] December blog at iMedicalApp

Medical apps are one of the fastest growing sectors in the app market. Medical apps broadly encompass any mobile app that is health related whether targeted to patients, physicians, students, etc. These apps range from providing easy accessibility to previously published texts, health advice, health monitoring for chronic diseases, treatment and dosing guidelines, etc.

 

A new responsibility that arises in the medical app world is management of transparency and conflict of interest issues. Generally, medical professionals are sensitive to concerns of industry involvement in medical education. There are policies in place that manage issues surrounding COI. These include regulating free drug samples, dinners, financial compensation, etc.

However, despite astute awareness when it comes to the aforementioned examples, there remains the question of why there is not more COI sensitivity in the medical app world. Consider for example an app made by a pharmaceutical company – it can suggest its own medicine for a specific disease, or even more subtly, list its drug first.

A recently published book, Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education and Practice(Lo and Field, 2009) lists potential sources of conflict by the pharmaceutical industry. Within medical subspecialties, medical professionals are beginning to notice the importance of authorship disclosure and transparency of the role of the industry (dermatologypsychiatry, to name a couple).

The paper sheds some light on the ethics surrounding increasing transparency for the medical app consumer. The paper points out the need for an increased awareness by all for the need for transparency as more and more of these apps are targeted at non-professional individuals who are potentially more susceptible as they are often not aware of COI issues in this context.

The utility of medical apps is clear–they will provide increasing value in management of patient care as we continue to move to electronically based medicine and medical recording. The need for increased transparency of authorship and industry relations is also clear. Medical apps have been added to the healthcare provider’s armamentarium to provide quality care. Just as we exert caution in avoiding biases with medications, treatments, and medical technologies, we must treat apps we recommend for our patients with the same good conscience.

 

 

January 2, 2014 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

[Purdue Library Website] Good Resource Tools for Medical and Health Information

Of particular note in the health/medical area….

Under the tab Health Information

DISEASES

Needless to say, I’ve added a link to this at my Health Resources for all Web site

 

December 3, 2013 Posted by | Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

[Not just for librarians!] Healthy Aging at Your Library: Connecting Older Adults to Health Information

My volunteer position at the NW Ohio Area Office on Aging brings me in contact with many older Americans with health issues.
The past few months I’ve been making follow up phone calls to screen folks for eligibility for the Extra Help Medicare Prescription Drug program **through the Social Security Office.   Quite a few screenings went beyond the rote answering of  about 15 questions related to income, resources and current prescription drug coverage. At times I got quite an earful of their present medical conditions, financial conditions, and inability to fully take care of themselves and others.  Was usually able to refer folks to in-house and area resources.

This morning I came across a training class for librarians on how to assist older Americans on how to locate health information.
While information doesn’t cure or assist on it’s own, it does empower people.  At the Area Office on Aging, we do not advise, but present information so they can make their own best possible decisions.

The class material is online and free. I’ll be going through the materials on my own. Partly so I can be a better volunteer.
Also, I’ll be adding some of the material to my Google site, Health Resources for All.

Some interesting factoids from the online class, Healthy Aging at Your Library, specifically the Power Point presentation

  • The number of Americans aged 65 years or older during the next 25 years will double to about 72 million.
  •  By 2030, older adults will account for roughly 20% of the U.S. population.
  • 2 out of 3 older Americans have multiple chronic conditions, and treatment for this population accounts for 66% of the country’s health care budget ***
  • Heart Disease – #1 cause of death adults over age 65
  • Cancer – #2 cause of death adults over age 65
  • Patients with low literacy skills were observed to have a 50% increased risk of hospitalization
  • Only 3% of older adults surveyed had proficient health literacy skills

**Medicare beneficiaries can qualify for Extra Help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year. To qualify for the Extra Help, a person must be receiving Medicare, have limited resources and income, and reside in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia.

To see if you qualify, and apply… do one of the following

  • Go to  the Extra Help screening tool/application page
  • Call the US Social Security Office 1-800-772-1213 (somtimes one can bypass menu options by saying “Customer Service”_
  • Contact your nearest Area Office on Aging, United Way, or similar agency

*** Right now at the Area Office, I am doing Medicare Advantage Plans and Part D (Prescription Drug) plan comparisons. Part of the comparison includes entering all prescription drugs used. This can get quite lengthy. Averages around 8 drugs, the record for me was 27 prescription drugs entered for one person.

I encourage folks to compare Medicare Advantage Plans/Part D plans every year. Even if one is happy with one’s plan, it does not hurt to look at others.
Medicare.gov (the official government site) has a tool where one can compare plans for free. The results are in an easy to read chart, which includes prices, coverage, co-pays, and more.

Need assistance in doing the online comparisons? Contact your local Area Office on Aging, United Way, or other related social service agency.

October 3, 2013 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Resource from the NLM: Subject Guides (Health Statistics, Library Statistics, Conference Proceedings)

New Resource from the NLM: Subject Guides

The NLM Reference and Web Services Section, Public Services Division, compiled a select set of subject guides. These guides can serve as research starting points for health professionals, researchers, librarians, students, and others. Each guide lists a variety of resources, many of which are Internet accessible and free. These subject guides consist of many resources but should not be considered completely comprehensive.

Released guides cover Health Statistics, Library Statistics, and Conference Proceedings. Two additional guides will be available in late fall covering Drug Information and Genetics/Genomics.

The topics for these Subject Guides are drawn from the most frequently asked questions the Reference and Web Services staff encounters in e-mails and onsite. The staff plans to update the guides, reviewing them as needed to maintain their links and content. We hope you find the Subject Guides useful, and we welcome your comments or suggestions.

From the NLM Site

  • Health Statistics (Listed here, just some of the information at the site)
    • Scope –
      • The Health Statistics and Numerical Data subject guide includes some of the major sources of health and general statistics in the United States and a brief list of international resources.
      • Selected Resources sections consist of a small number of resources chosen from the great number available. Resources include print and online publications, databases, datasets, online tools, and Websites. The majority are from U.S. Government agencies.
    • Websites and Portals
    • General selected resources
    • Specific health conditions and concerns
    • Special populations

September 30, 2013 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, health AND statistics, Health Statistics, Librarian Resources | , | Leave a comment

[Reblog-commentary on medical journalism] This is nuts: news coverage stating that great Dads have smaller testicles

Remember…just because two factors occur together,  it doesn’t mean one necessarily causes the other!
Here, just because an involved father has smaller testicles, it does not necessarily mean that smaller
testicles enable one to be a better father!

Thinking that desires to get quick fixes or quick answers often get in the way of the necessity to take time and analyze reports objectively!

OK, I am bragging. But I have a whole Web page (with links) on how to evaluate health/medical information.

 

[Reblog from 10 September 2013 article at HealthNewsReview by Gary Schwitzer]

This is the kind of news coverage about a study that results in science and journalism about science losing credibility.  To get warmed up, check some of the headlines:

  • Great dads have smaller testicles, study suggests – CBC
  • Study: Choose Dads With Smaller ‘Nads – TIME
  • Study:  You may be a terrible dad because you have enormous testicles – Salon.com

Or see countless other silly headlines in a simple web search that will come up with probably more than 100 news stories.

It’s all based on a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Testicular volume is inversely correlated with nurturing-related brain activity in human fathers.

It doesn’t appear that Emory University, home of the authors, distorted the findings.  This Emory story states:

“Men with smaller testes than others are more likely to be involved in hands-on care of their toddlers, finds a new study by anthropologists at Emory University. …

Smaller testicular volumes also correlate with more nurturing-related brain activity in fathers as they are looking at photos of their own children, the study shows.
Our data suggest that the biology of human males reflects a trade-off between investments in mating and parenting effort,” says Emory anthropologist James Rilling, whose lab conducted the research.

The goal of the research is to determine why some fathers invest more energy in parenting than others. “It’s an important question,” Rilling says, “because previous studies have shown that children with more involved fathers have better social, psychological and educational outcomes.”  …

The study included 70 biological fathers who had a child between the ages of 1 and 2, and who were living with the child and its biological mother.

The mothers and fathers were interviewed separately about the father’s involvement in hands-on childcare, including tasks such as changing diapers, feeding and bathing a child, staying home to care for a sick child or taking the child to doctor visits.

The men’s testosterone levels were measured, and they underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity as they viewed photos of their own child with happy, sad and neutral expressions, and similar photos of an unknown child and an unknown adult. Then, structural MRI was used to measure testicular volume.

The findings showed that both testosterone levels and testes size were inversely correlated with the amount of direct paternal caregiving reported by the parents in the study.”

The Emory blog post listed some of the study’s limitations:

“Although statistically significant, the correlation between testes size and caregiving was not perfect.

A key question raised by the study findings is the direction of casualty (sic: I’m sure they meant causality). “We’re assuming that testes size drives how involved the fathers are,” Rilling says, “but it could also be that when men become more involved as caregivers, their testes shrink. Environmental influences can change biology. We know, for instance, that testosterone levels go down when men become involved fathers.”

Another important question is whether childhood environment can affect testes size. “Some research has shown that boys who experience childhood stress shift their life strategies,” Rilling says. “Or perhaps fatherless boys react to the absence of their father by adopting a strategy emphasizing mating effort at the expense of parenting effort.”

While it could have been stated more clearly, that excerpt nails the huge leap from the assumptions of the study to any proof of cause-and-effect. It discussed correlation – not cause.  In other words, it’s nuts to have news headlines like the ones I listed above.

There are countless ways to poke holes in the fMRI analysis of 70 men, but I’ll leave that to the experts.

The clamor for cutesy cleverness outpaced real scrutiny in most of the stories we’ve seen.

  • A Discover blog:  “So while it certainly takes balls to be a father, bigger is not necessarily better.”
  • CNN.com: “It was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which goes by the acronym PNAS (Yes, that’s chuckle-worthy in this context, so go ahead and laugh). …When I learned of this study, I immediately feared what could happen if it gets taken out of context.  Dystopian future headline: “Deadbeat Dads Blame it on Large Family Jewels!” Dystopian future advice mothers give to daughters before marriage: “But will he be a good father? Weigh the wedding tackle!”
  • TIME.com: “Perhaps it’s time to stop obsessing over penis size, and start to think more about those underloved lads underneath. A new study has suggested that testicle size plays a role in whether or not a guy is an involved dad, but this is one time less is more: the smaller the family jewels, the better the family man.”

CNN.com quoted one of the study authors succinctly:  “Rilling says the study is not about “good” or “bad” dads.”

So again, where did all of those headlines come from?

And didn’t we have a possibly pending war, the unfolding Affordable Care Act, even another Anthony Weiner story to cover today instead of all the attention given this?

 

ADDENDUM:  This is even more nuts.  Each day I work really hard but may reach only relatively small numbers of people with articles that I think are important to try to improve the public dialogue about health care.  Today my traffic is through the roof, and it’s all because I had testicles or nuts in my headline.  And that, at least temporarily, put me in a prominent position on Google Search.  Nuts.

—————
Comments

Rob F posted on September 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

Great coverage of this crazy non-story Gary. We also looked into this on Behind the Headlines. It’s fascinating to see how a “sexy” angle can hype and distort some fairly humdrum research.

Reply

Gary Schwitzer posted on September 16, 2013 at 11:09 am

Thanks, Rob. Here’s the link to the Behind the Headlines analysis:http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/09September/Pages/Does-testicle-size-play-a-role-in-parental-ability.aspx

Reply

 

 

September 30, 2013 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Health News Items, Medical and Health Research News | , | Leave a comment

Healthcare Bots and Subject Directories

Fairly comprehensive.
Annotations and ratings would have been useful, however.
Still, am thinking most of the search engines would give more focused results than general search engines.

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 12.50.03 PM

From the directory

This white paper link compilation is designed to give you the latest resources available to find selected and niched information in the healthcare field for healthcare research both professional and personal. It is divided into two categories: a) Search Engines and Selected Bots, and b) Directories, Subject Trees and Subject Tracers. These resources allow you to begin your research using the latest sources that are available on the Internet. Using both bots and subject directories to initialize your healthcare research allows one to create a broad spectrum approach to the information available.

Click here to view the directory

And from a summary of the directory

Healthcare Bots and Subject Directories

Healthcare Bots and Subject Directories is a 30 page research paper listing selected resources both new and existing that will help anyone who is attempting to find the latest information about healthcare search engines and subject directories available on the Internet. It is freely available as a .pdf file (319KB) at the above link from the Virtual Private Library™ and authored by Marcus P. Zillman, M.S., A.M.H.A. It was completely updated, reviewed and link validated on September 1, 2013. Other white papers are available by clicking here.

September 3, 2013 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , | Leave a comment

How to access journal articles [Repost with additional link]

Some great information that I did not include in a previous post – How to obtain free and low cost medical articles from biomedical journals. Remember, if all else fails, try contacting the author(s). I have about a 75% success rate.

From the Web site How to Access Journal Articles by Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce.

Screen Shot 2013-08-31 at 4.03.08 AM

The information resources and service that you became accustomed to using while pursuing your public health training may not be freely available. Leverage the materials that are freely available to you as an employee, an association member, an alumnus/ae or a taxpayer. Contact the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Staff for support with exploring any of the options and resources mentioned below, or other questions you might have.

Additional literature resources including Journal Article DatabasesIndividual Journal Titles, and Reports and Other Publications, are available on the PHPartners.org Literature and Guidelines page.

Free Full Text Journal Articles

Collections of Full Text

  • PMC – (National Library of Medicine (NLM) U.S.)  – PMC, formerly PubMed Central, is a free archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).

Institutional Repositories from Universities with Schools of Public Health

Sponsored Special Issues or Open Access Individual Articles

  • Public Health Finance and Public Health Accreditation Special Issues – (Journal of Public Health Management and Practice)  – See issues marked “Free Access.” March/April 2007 – Volume 13- Issue 2 on public health finance and July/August 2007 – Volume 13 – Issue 4 on public health accreditation were sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). However, other issues in other publications sponsored by RWJF are not open access.

Strategies to Obtain Journal Articles

Alumni Benefits

  • Council on Education for Public Health – The list of accredited Schools of Public Health and Public Health Programs contains the website for each school. See if your school has special benefits for alumni by checking the public health program site or going directly to the academic library site.

Association Memberships

Continuing Education

  • Area Health Education Centers Directory – Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) provide continuing education based on the recent literature. Many AHECs also have libraries or resource centers.
  • Library Services – University of South Florida Area Health Education Center – The USF AHEC Program provides free library services to health care providers working with the medically underserved in Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties. These services include interlibrary loan of journal articles and loan of AHEC-owned books and other materials and ability to access the USF Health Science Center Library electronic resources

International Public Health

  • Blue Trunk Libraries – (World Health Organization (WHO))  – The collection, which is organized according to major subjects, contains more than one hundred books on medicine and public health. Blue Trunk Libraries are available in English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic.
  • Global Health Library – (World Health Organization (WHO))  – Global and regional indexes tot he scientific and technical literature. Many of the articles found in searches are free online such as those in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.
  • HINARI Access to Research Initiative – (World Health Organization (WHO))  – The HINARI Programme, set up by WHO together with major publishers, enables developing countries to gain access to one of the world’s largest collections of biomedical and health literature. Over 6200 journal titles are available to health institutions in 108 countries, areas and territories.

Libraries

  • College and University Libraries – Academic libraries generally are included in WorldCat or have their own online catalog on their website. State university or community college libraries are usually open to the public living or working within that state. Look for a community college with health training programs. Those with EMS Training Programs may have disaster preparedness journals, for example. Most libraries have print subscriptions or license electronic journals to allow on site use. Friends of the Library memberships may be available for a reasonable charge and may allow you to check out materials or receive other information services.
  • Directory of National Network of Libraries of Medicine Members – (National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM))  – Searchable directory of a nationwide network of health science libraries and information centers. The directory can be searched by state, type of library, and by services offered to the public including reference services, database search training, and delivery of full text journal articles.
  • Law Libraries – Law librarians are experts in finding legal information to support policy making and cases. Law libraries are often open to the public for legal research. Use of resources such as Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw is generally restricted, but a wealth of other information in environmental and occupational health, infectious disease control, animal control and other topics with legal components is available.
  • List of Public Health Libraries – (Medical Library Association, Public Health/Health Administration Section)  – This website provides links to international, U.S. government, state and local public health libraries, and to libraries from schools of public health.
  • National Network of Libraries of Medicine NN/LM – Your regional medical library can help you locate any type of library of figure out what options you have to efficiently find access to the information you need. The NN/LM also provides training on how to use information resources such as PubMed.
  • Public Libraries – Public library subscriptions and services may include remote access to collections of full-text journals and newspaper articles. Interlibrary loan may be available at no charge or a minimal cost. Library cards are generally available to those who live or work in the jurisdiction at no charge.
  • State Libraries – State agency libraries may be designated to serve state public health workers. If not, they should at least be open to state residents. State libraries work with public libraries to ensure access to resources for users statewide. Find your state library.
  • WorldCat – See what libraries closest to you own the journal you need, just search on the title and include your zip code – one may be close enough to visit in person to print or copy the article. If not, follow the web links to the owning library to see if document delivery services are offered for a fee. Note: Most hospital libraries do not appear in Worldcat.org, so you may need to call your closest hospital library to see if they have what you need.

Organizational Partnerships and Staying Connected with Academia

  • College of Medicine Voluntary Faculty – (University of South Florida (USF))  – Example of library services available to voluntary faculty involved in teaching health professional students. Maintain an adjunct faculty role or offer to precept students. The students will have remote access to the university resources, and the academic institution may also be able to provide resources or services to you as a preceptor depending on their licensing arrangements.

Paying for Full Text Journal Articles

Ordering Journal Articles

  • Loansome Doc – (National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM))  – Arrangements may be made with a health sciences library to provide specific materials you request for a pre-arranged, per-item fee. Prices may be very low, or even free, when ordering from a library mandated to serve health workers in their area.
  • Using Loansome Doc® – (National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM))  – Learn how to order full-text articles through a local health sciences library.

Subscriptions to Individual Titles or Packages of Titles

  • Journal of Public Health Management and Practice (Example) – Most journals are available as either individual or institutional subscriptions. If you purchase the journal with organizational funds and intend for it to be used by multiple staff, then you should purchase an institutional subscription. Institutional subscriptions often allow you to set up online access using your organization’s IP addresses so that all on the organization’s network may access the publication. You may also buy individual articles on a pay per view or pay per download model.
  • Veterinary Information Network (VIN) – Fee-based knowledge resource center for animal health and infectious diseases that includes many full text journals, conference proceedings and electronic books, as well as online expert forums for veterinarians.

August 31, 2013 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | , , , , | 1 Comment

Some Prescription Drug Cost Assistance Programs

Recently I updated my Health Resources for All Web site.

If anyone has any suggestions (including additions), please let me know in the comments section or email me at jmflahiff at yahoo dot com.

 

Here’s the list from Prescription Drug Cost Assistance

[Sorry, it did not copy/paste very well!!]

General Guides

BenefitsCheckUp, a service of the National Council on Aging, can help you find public and private programs that may be able to help pay for your prescription drugs.

Government Programs

Extra Help (sometimes called the Low-Income Subsidy, LIS)

Find a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
Helps find prescription drug coverage regardless of income, health status, or how you pay for prescription drugs today.Click here for when you may enroll.  Additional information on Part D prescription drug plans here.

Nonprofits and Commercial Programs

NeedyMeds

  • Non-profit information resource devoted to helping people in need find assistance programs to help them afford their medications and costs related to health care. Includes coverage gap programs.

(More at their About pagePrintable brochure here)

             Contact them through their Web site or by telephone (800-503-6897)
 
  • A way to receive discounts on prescription drugs at participting pharmacies. 
  • Printable coupon at Web site
  • Contact by email or phone (1-888-412-0869). FAQ page here.
  • How it Works
    1. Use FreeRxPlus® Bin and Group numbers for FREE access to savings on prescriptions, lab tests, and imaging services.
    2. For access to Lab Test savings: Locate a lab or order your test call toll-free 1-888-412-0869
    3. For access to Imaging Savings: Locate an imaging center or order your service call toll-free 1-888-412-0869
    4. For access to Prescription Savings: Click HERE and locate a participating pharmacy or search for medication pricing. Then simply present your FreeRxPlus® card to the pharmacist for immediate saving
 A collaboration of pharmaceutical companies, health care providers and advocacy organizations. 

Use their services online or contact them at 1-888-477-2669Prescription Assistance Page includes


 PatientAssistance.com, Inc

PatientAssistance.com is a free resource designed to help connect patients who can’t afford their prescription medications with patient assistance programs. Generally for the uninsured and underinsured.

 Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)

1-800-532-5274

The PAF helps to solve health insurance and access problems. The website has information on resources, programs, and provides personal help. PAF offers assistance to patients with specific issues they are facing with their insurer, employer and/or creditor regarding insurance, job retention and/or debt crisis matters relative to their diagnosis of life threatening or debilitating diseases.

Services provided by PAF include:

  • CINV CareLine

    CINV (chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting) CareLine is a patient hotline designed to provide case management assistance to patients diagnosed with cancer and experiencing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting who are seeking education and access to care.

  • Co-Pay Relief Program

    The Co-Pay Relief Program currently provides direct financial support to insured patients, including Medicare Part D beneficiaries, who must financially and medically qualify to access pharmaceutical co-payment assistance. The program offers personal service to all patients through the use of call counselors; personally guiding patients through the enrollment process

RxAssist

RxAssist is a website with information, news, and a database that are all designed to help you find out about ways to get affordable, or free, medications. The database includes information on the pharmaceutical companies’ patient assistance programs, or programs that provide free medication to low-income patients. RxAssist was created by Volunteers in Health Care, a national, nonprofit resource center for health care programs working with the uninsured.

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) Patient Assistance Program may be able to help you find free or reduced-fee prescription drugs for your condition.

Prescription Drug Assistance Programs(American Cancer Society)

RxHope: Patient Assistance Information(Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)

 

 

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health and Medical Blogs Collected by the US National Library of Medicine

Does anyone have a favorite health/medical blog?
Feel free to add it here in the comments section.

 

From the press release

“What wondrous things my four working limbs were once able to accomplish!” writes Marc, a 48-year-old New Yorker diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in 2003, in his blog, “Wheelchair Kamikaze.”

You can tap into Marc’s “Rants, Ruminations, and Reflections of a Mad MStery Patient” and 11 more health-related blogs authored by physicians, nurses, patients like Marc, patient advocates and others on NLM’s new—and riveting—”Health and Medicine Blogs” collection.

According to Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, chief of the NLM History of Medicine Division, these and the thousands of other digital publications that have blossomed on the Internet follow in “the long tradition of professional narratives, personal papers, and other technical health and medical information, but with a 21st century twist. They are less formal but equally if not more insightful.”

By selecting and collecting Web content like these blogs, the Library is continuing to fulfill in a new and dynamic way its mission to collect, preserve, and make accessible the scholarly biomedical literature as well as resources that illustrate a diversity of philosophical and cultural perspectives related to human health and disease. In today’s publishing environment there are important and insightful views on 21st century health care that aren’t reflected in the technical, scholarly literature. The new collection bolsters the Library’s core mission to gather, preserve, and make accessible the range of biomedical literature that in some cases only NLM collects. It is a unique resource for future scholarship.

“The blogs help to reveal the changing state of medicine,” Reznick emphasizes. “It is a thoughtful collection for future reflection and analysis.” Researchers 50 years from now will be able to view snapshots of today’s medical system as seen through the lenses of people’s lives, as captured by “e-Patient Dave” in his blog. Or they can learn about the complexities of current-day health IT from John Halamka, MD on his “Life as a Healthcare CIO” blog.

…….

The actual  blog collection is here —“A web archiving serviceto harvest and preserve digital collections, a service of the Internet Archive

 

August 29, 2013 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | , , | Leave a comment

Blog Roll: Our Favorite Health Blogs

Janice Flahiff:

Includes areas as nutrition, healthcare, health communication, and health/medical resources

 

Originally posted on SurroundHealth Blog:

With tons of health blogs out there today, it can be overwhelming trying to find solid ones to follow that are a good fit for your topic of interest. At SurroundHealth, we look for bloggers that align with our goals of sharing resources and best practices in areas such as: health education/communication, professional development and health careers, health and education technology, and current health events.

While this isn’t a FULL list of the blogs we follow, we thought it would be nice to share with our members and readers some of our favorite (in no specific order) health blogs out there!

Our ‘favorites’ blog roll:

Health ECareers Network- HeCN is a really informative blog providing access to everything healthcare careers- news, information, events, career resources and employment opportunities – all specific to individual career paths. Definitely a good one to check out if you are looking to learn…

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July 20, 2013 Posted by | Educational Resources (Elementary School/High School), Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

Health Literacy Resources: Professional Healthcare Organizations and Associations

Janice Flahiff:

Great links to resources as
–High Value Care resources intended to help patients understand the benefits, harms and costs of tests and treatments for common clinical issues.
–Case Management Society of America’s has a consumer page that describes Case Management as a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual’s health needs
–Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a resource for food, nutrition, and health information. Consumers can find tip sheets, videos, brochures, and health & nutrition guides for women, men, and children.

 

Originally posted on Camille Davidson:

Health Care Workers

Consumer 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.

According to the National Adult Assessment of Literacy (2003), 14% of American cannot comprehend basic health information. The study indicates that health illiteracy is especially prevalent among:

  1.  Adults who did not complete high school, with 49% having below basic health literacy
  2.  Hispanic adults, who have lower health literacy than any other ethnic/racial group, with 41% having below basic health literacy

Low consumer health literacy costs between $106 to $236 billion a year in the form of longer hospital stays; emergency room visits, increased doctor visits, and increased medication, according to a recent report from the University of Connecticut.  Consumers with low literacy levels often fail to engage in early detection and preventive health care.  They also have significant difficulties navigating the health…

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July 17, 2013 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, health care, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Database Reveals Thousands of Hospital Violation Reports New Database Reveals Thousands of Hospital Violation Reports

Hospital

Hospital (Photo credit: Ralf Heß)

 

From the March 20, 2013 State Line article

 

Hospitals make mistakes, sometimes deadly mistakes.  A patient may get the wrong medication or even undergo surgery intended for another person.  When errors like these are reported, state and federal officials inspect the hospital in question and file a detailed report.

Now, for the first time, this vital information on the quality and safety of the nation’s hospitals has been made available to the public online.

A new website, www.hospitalinspections.org, includes detailed reports of hospital violations dating back to January 2011, searchable by city, state, name of the hospital and key word.  Previously, these reports were filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), and released only through a Freedom of Information Act request, an arduous, time-consuming process.  Even then, the reports were provided in paper format only, making them cumbersome to analyze.

Release of this critical electronic information by CMS is the result of years of advocacy by the Association of Health Care Journalists, with funding from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.  The new database makes full inspection reports for acute care hospitals and rural critical access hospitals instantly available to journalists and consumers interested in the quality of their local hospitals.

The database also reveals national trends in hospital errors. For example, key word searches yield the incidence of certain violations across all hospitals.  A search on the word “abuse,” for example, yields 862 violations at 204 hospitals since 2011. …

 

 

March 20, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, health AND statistics, Health Statistics, Librarian Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] Curēus, an open-access medical journal with crowdsourcing

[Reblog] Curēus, an open-access medical journal with crowdsourcing December 23, 2012

Posted by Dr. Bertalan Meskó in MedicineWeb 2.0Medical journalism,Medicine 2.0e-Science.
trackback
John Adler who is a neurosurgeon at Stanford just launched Curēus, an open-source medical journal that leverages crowdsourcing to make scientific research more readily available to the general public. What do you think?

Based in Palo Alto, California, Curēus is the medical journal for a new generation of both doctors AND patients. Leveraging the power of an online, crowd-sourced community platform, Curēus promotes medical research by offering tools that better serve and highlight the people who create it, resulting in better research, faster publication and easier access for everyone.

We make it easier and faster to publish your work – it’s always free and you retain the copyright. What’s more, the Curēus platform is designed to provide a place for physicians to build their digital CV anchored with their posters and papers.

The Curēus site also has..

Currently, a relatively few number of papers online. The concept is good, here’s hoping this is not a flash in the pan, but the wave of the future.

December 27, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Look up medications more quickly and easily on Google

From the Google Announcement

11/30/12 | 9:00:00 AM

Labels: 

We get a lot of queries for medicine on Google. So to make it quick and easy for you to learn about medications, we’ll start showing key facts — side effects, related medications, links to in-depth resources, and more — right on the search results page.


This data comes from the U.S. FDA, the National Library of Medicine, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, among others. It’s part of the Knowledge Graph — our project to map out billions of real-world things, from famous artists to roller coasters to planets (and now medications). We hope you find this useful, but remember that these results do not act as medical advice.

Posted by Aaron Brown, Senior Product Manager, Search

 

Related Resources (because there are other reputable resources besides the one’s Google mines! with additional drug info)

MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You

 
 
 
Learn about your prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. Includes side effects, dosage, special precautions, and more.
Browse dietary supplements and herbal remedies to learn about their effectiveness, usual dosage, and drug interactions.
 
Information about label ingredients in more than 6,000 selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to compare label ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the “structure/function” claims made by manufacturers.
These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Companies may not market as dietary supplements any products that are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
 
 
Drug Information Portal
A gateway to selected drug information from the US government.  It links you to information on over 12,000 drugs from trusted consumer drug information sources (as MedlinePlus Drug Information), the US Food and Drug Information (as Drugs @FDA)LactMed(summary of effects on breastfeeding), and more.
 


 
Pillbox enables rapid identification of unknown solid-dosage medications (tablets/capsules) based on physical characteristics and high-resolution images.
Once a medication is identified, Pillbox provides links to drug information and drug labels.
 
 
MedWatch logo
Clinically important safety information and reporting serious problems with human medical products.
Safety information includes drug information, recalls & alerts, drug shortage information, and medication guides.
 

Together we

Adverse Reaction Online Database contains information about suspected adverse reactions (also known as side effects) to health products, recalls, advisories, and warnings from the Canadian government
 
 
More Drug Resources at Drug Information Resources 
      (by the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of the Medical Library Association)
 
Including…..
  • CenterWatch/Clinical Trials Listing Service
    This useful resource lists newly approved drugs, drugs in current clinical research, weekly trial results, as well as a link to the PDR Family Medical Guide for Prescription Drugs.
  • Longwood Herbal Task Force
    This site has in-depth monographs about herbal products and supplements written by health professionals and students. It provides clinical information summaries, patient fact sheets, and information about toxicity and interactions as well as relevant links. The task force is a cooperative effort of the staff and students from Children’s Hospital, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
  • FDA Recalls  provides information gathered from press releases and other public notices about certain recalls of FDA-regulated products
  • Epocrates

 

 

December 12, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public) | , , , | Leave a comment

 

From a recent CAPHIS** listserv item

As part of a project funded by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and
Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and the State of Illinois, Department of Human
Services, a number of multilingual educational materials are being
developed.

They cover nutrition and health during and after pregnancy,
as well as during infancy and early childhood. These resources may be
especially helpful for WIC programs who serve refugee populations. These
free materials are available as web-videos and audio files in English,
Nepali and Burmese. Arabic and Bhutanese versions are under
development. Written handouts for all languages are also under
development.

These new materials can be found under the
Pregnancy/Reproduction and Food/Nutrition topics on the Healthy Roads
Media website – www.healthyroadsmedia.org
As always, any feedback to help guide the development of these kinds 
of resources is very helpful.

 

**CAPHIS (Consumer and Public Health Information Section of the Medical Librarian Association)
has compiled a Top 100 List of Health Websites you can trust.

These lists of resources expand upon the MLA Top Ten List.

 

October 16, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories | , , | Leave a comment

NIH launches free database of drugs associated with liver injury

 

From the 12 October 2012 news release

A free source of evidence-based information for health care professionals and for researchers studying liver injury associated with prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbals, and dietary supplements is now available from the National Institutes of Health. Researchers and health care professionals can use the LiverTox database to identify basic and clinical research questions to be answered and to chart optimal ways to diagnose and control drug-induced liver injury.

Drug-induced liver injury is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States, accounting for at least half of cases. It occurs at all ages, in men and women, and in all races and ethnic groups. Drug-induced liver disease is more likely to occur among older adults because they tend to take more medications than younger people. Some drugs directly damage the liver, while others cause damage indirectly or by an allergic reaction. The most important element to managing drug-induced liver injury is to identify the drug that’s causing the problem and appropriate steps to eliminate or reduce damage to the liver.

“Because drug-induced liver disease is not a single, common disease, it is very difficult to diagnose, with each drug causing a somewhat different pattern of liver damage,” said Jay H. Hoofnagle, M.D., the major creator of LiverTox and director of the Liver Disease Research Branch at NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). “Doctors have to rule out all other causes of liver disease before saying that a patient has drug-induced injury liver.”

LiverTox has a searchable database of about 700 medications available in the United States by prescription or over the counter. Over the next few years, another 300 drugs will be added. The database offers these features:

  • An overview of drug-induced liver injury, including diagnostic criteria, the role of liver biopsy, descriptions of different clinical patterns and standard definitions.
  • A detailed report of each drug, including background, case study, product package insert, chemical makeup and structure, dose recommendations and references with links.
  • An interactive section, allowing users to report cases of drug-induced liver injury to the LiverTox website. Reports will be automatically forwarded to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch program. MedWatch allows the public and health care professionals to report adverse events, product defects, or product use errors. The FDA uses the information to monitor product safety.

“LiverTox is the result of a significant scientific collaboration between the national and international clinical and research communities, the NIDDK and the National Library of Medicine (NLM),” said Steven Phillips, M.D., co-sponsor of LiverTox and director of NLM’s Division of Specialized Information Services. “LiverTox demonstrates the importance of using informatics to provide easy access to evidenced-based information to clinicians and researchers that will improve the health and well-being of all and help prevent unnecessary morbidity and mortality, worldwide. I hope the dynamic LiverTox model can be used to create a new suite of databases that can identify drug-induced injury to other organs such as the heart, kidney, and lung. The National Library of Medicine is honored to be part of this significant scientific endeavor.”

 

October 15, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Tutorials/Finding aids | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Information Connections – website for parents of children with developmental disabilities and chronic diseases

 

From the web page at the National Network of Medical Libraries

Connect with Information Connections

By Nalini Mahajan
Director, Medical Library
Marionjoy Rehabilitation Hospital

Information Connections is a website for parents of children with developmental disabilities and chronic diseases with a special focus on Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Down Syndrome, and Traumatic Brain Injury. The informative website was developed and launched by the Marianjoy Medical Library with funding from the National Network of Library of Medicine, Greater Midwest Region (NN/LM GMR) and is sponsored by Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital. It is accessible to anyone from anywhere and it is free.

Since its initial launch in April 2011, InformationConnections.org has helped thousands of families seeking help on these topics. Website usage and feedback in our first year has been exceptional.

We would love to promote our Web site to everyone who could benefit from this wonderful resource and would appreciate any help from you. Please spread the word around; like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, feel free to blog about us, and place a link to us on your website. Our goal is to have 500 friends by the end of 2012. Once we reach the magic number of 500 friends, 3 winners be selected randomly and each will receive a $25.00 gift certificate.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 at 12:45 pm and is filed under Consumer HealthFundingNews from the RegionOutreach. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

 

 

September 5, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] Googling cancer information: Tips from a cancer survivor

 

The Human Body -- Cancer

The Human Body — Cancer (Photo credit: n0cturbulous)

 

From the 19 August 2012 article at KevinMD.com

 

by  on August 19th, 2012 | in PATIENT| 4 responses
When I got my phone call with the diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), my instinct, like so many of us, was to Google. Today, 3 years later, I have learned about what to look for, what to avoid, and how to manage my natural wish to know as much as possible.

The following are suggestions to help others faced with a cancer diagnosis.

Google wisely. Google (and Wikipedia) are a reflex. Don’t fight it. However, when looking at suggested links, go for more reliable sources. Any national cancer (e.g. American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society) or health agency (e.g., National Cancer Institute), major cancer centre (e.g., MD Anderson and others), and any specific cancer organization (in my case, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and LLS Canada).

Be forewarned, for more aggressive cancers, this will be frightening reading.

Ask your medical team. I didn’t at first but learned better. When I saw my first hematologist, he warned me that web information was out of date and, breezily (almost too much so!), reassured me that better treatments were available. But I didn’t press him on which site he would recommend. Another time with a family member undergoing thankfully what proved to be a false cancer scare, I did – and was referred to the kind of sites referred to earlier.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) – there are no miracles. Invariably, you will find sites that promise alternative cancer treatments. Don’t get sucked into false hopes at best, or be preyed upon for money in the worst.

While I believe in complementary approaches to conventional treatments, these are the tried and true advice for everyone: avoid tobacco, eat well (including reducing meat consumption – other nutrition advice here), and exercise.

Prayer, meditation, walking, being with family and friends are also sound elements of a holistic approach.

Explore, within limits, community forums. There is a risk of losing yourself in these forums. However, they are incredibly powerful in connecting you with people who have gone through the same treatment.

While I started late – because in some cases, it was depressing – I now ask about side effects that I am not sure about, and give back to people who are at earlier stages by sharing my experience. Start with a forum that deals with your type of cancer first, as it is likely to have the largest number of others in your situation (for Canadians, the US forums are larger than in Canada so I tend to go with those).

There is also the emergence of some private cancer forums, which have some good logging tools. However, on privacy grounds, I am more comfortable with charitable organizations.

Get efficient with Google Reader. I started off checking individual sites, forums and blogs. Very inefficient. Set up Google Reader (part of your Google account) and set up search terms to capture news stories, blogs and forum updates automatically. You can then scan them quickly and read those of interest.

Lastly, a note of humility. No matter how much one reads, and how well informed, one will never have the knowledge and experience of your medical team. Set your objectives:

  • understand your cancer and treatment better
  • be prepared to ask good questions
  • develop a comfort level in assessing different treatment options
  • be able to “challenge” your medical team if appropriate (e.g., whether I needed to have more or less scans, colonoscopy etc. – small stuff in the bigger scheme but nevertheless made my journey more bearable)

Andrew Griffith is a cancer survivor who blogs at My Lymphoma Journey.  He can be reached on Twitter @lymphomajourney.

 

 

Related Resources

  • Cancer (MedlinePlus) – links to overviews, basic information, health check tools, videos, tutorials, research, directories, organizations, patient handouts, and more
  • US National Cancer Institute  “… conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.”
  • KidsHealth – Click on Parents, Teens, or Children. Search either through the search box or selecting topic in left column.
  • Webicina- Cancer , information via social media sites

 

 

 

 

 

August 27, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories | | Leave a comment

New Style and New Content for ClinicalTrials.gov

From the US National Library of Medicine August 2012 press release

ClinicalTrials.gov is the NLM-developed Web-based registry and results database of clinical research studies. The Web site provides patients, clinicians, researchers, and the public with access to information about interventional and observational studies. As of August 2012, ClinicalTrials.gov contained over 130,000 clinical research studies in all fifty states and in 179 countries.

On August 13, 2012, visitors to the ClinicalTrials.gov Web site and the accompanying Protocol Registration System (PRS) Information Web site (designed for data providers) saw a link to a beta site including a new integrated homepage and updated graphic design for the site (http://clinicaltrials.gov/beta/).

Visitors will also have access to new and reorganized written content about clinical research, background information about the site, searching for studies, and maintaining study records.

However, core functions of the site — including the basic and advanced search, search results options, and the study record data – will remain the same. The new site interface will run in parallel with the previous version for approximately four weeks after launch. After appropriate testing and additional minor changes it will permanently replace the previous interface.

The New Homepage

The homepage (see Figure 1) showcases the study search options and search help resources in one location, the “Search for Studies” area. Site visitors can begin a basic search here, go to the advanced search form, or begin browsing for studies by topic or on a world map. Site visitors can also get help with searching, finding studies with summary results posted on ClinicalTrials.gov, and reading study records.

A new menu bar provides direct access to each area of content on the site (See Navigating the Site). Custom views of this content have been created for different user groups. Patients and families, researchers, and study record managers are three significant groups that visit ClinicalTrials.gov. The homepage areas for these audiences provide an introduction to content for each user group, and the “Learn more” link in each area goes to an orientation page that highlights relevant resources on the site. For example, study record managers can find out which clinical trials should be registered with ClinicalTrials.gov and get help with setting up accounts, registering studies and updating records. Members of the press also have a new page with background information and statistics about the site (see the “Media/Press Resources” page under “About Us” in the menu bar).

Data about the site are highlighted in the right column of the homepage. Users can access “Trends, charts, and maps” content for more statistics. An enhanced Glossary provides descriptions of clinical research terms commonly used on ClinicalTrials.gov and “Using our RSS Feeds” explains how to get notification of new and updated study records.

Screen capture of citationcontext menu.
Figure 1: New ClinicalTrials.gov homepage.

 

Please click here for more figures on how to

  • How to search for clinical trials
  • How to find information on study records (clinical trial sites and study organizers)
  • How to find selected outreach and scholarly publications related to ClinicalTrials.gov and clinical research

August 27, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Medical and Health Research News | , , | Leave a comment

Red Yeast Rice: An Introduction (A Fact Sheet from NCCAM)

English: red rice3 wine before filtering 2 -mo...

Excerpts from Red Yeast Rice backgrounder Web page (US National Center for Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

Red yeast rice is a traditional Chinese culinary and medicinal product. In the United States, dietary supplements containing red yeast rice have been marketed to help lower blood levels of cholesterol and related lipids. Red yeast rice products may not be safe; some may have the same side effects as certain cholesterol-lowering drugs, and some may contain a potentially harmful contaminant. This fact sheet provides basic information about red yeast rice, summarizes scientific research on effectiveness and safety, discusses the legal status of red yeast rice, and suggests sources for additional information.

Key Points

  • Some red yeast rice products contain substantial amounts of monacolin K, which is chemically identical to the active ingredient in the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin. These products may lower blood cholesterol levels and can cause the same types of side effects and drug interactions as lovastatin.
  • Other red yeast rice products contain little or no monacolin K. It is not known whether these products have any effect on blood cholesterol levels.
  • Consumers have no way of knowing how much monacolin K is present in most red yeast rice products. The labels on these products usually state only the amount of red yeast rice that they contain, not the amount of monacolin K.
….

Safety

  • The same types of side effects that can occur in patients taking lovastatin as a drug can also occur in patients who take red yeast rice products that contain monacolin K. Potential side effects include myopathy (muscle symptoms such as pain and weakness), rhabdomyolysis (a condition in which muscle fibers break down, releasing substances into the bloodstream that can harm the kidneys), and liver toxicity. Each of these three side effects has been reported in people who were taking red yeast rice.
  • Red yeast rice supplements should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Lovastatin can interact with a variety of drugs to increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis; these drugs include other cholesterol-lowering agents, certain antibiotics, the antidepressant nefazodone, drugs used to treat fungal infections, and drugs used to treat HIV infection. Red yeast rice containing monacolin K could interact with drugs in the same way.
  • If the process of culturing red yeast rice is not carefully controlled, a substance called citrinin can form. Citrinin has been shown to cause kidney failure in experimental animals and genetic damage in human cells. In a 2011 analysis of red yeast rice products sold as dietary supplements, 4 of 11 products were found to contain this contaminant.
….

Legal Status of Red Yeast Rice

In 1998, the FDA determined that a red yeast rice product that contained a substantial amount of monacolin K was an unapproved new drug, not a dietary supplement. On several occasions since then, the FDA has taken action against companies selling red yeast rice products that contain more than trace amounts of monacolin K, warning them that it is against the law to market these products as dietary supplements.

The US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) includes the section Herbs at a Glance.

This  series of fact sheets that provides basic information about specific herbs or botanicals—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information.

MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You

Drugs, Supplements, and Herbal Information 
Learn about your prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. Includes side effects, dosage, special precautions, and more.
Browse dietary supplements and herbal remedies to learn about their effectiveness, usual dosage, and drug interactions.


Dietary Supplements Labels Database 

Information about label ingredients in more than 6,000 selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to compare label ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the “structure/function” claims made by manufacturers.
These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Companies may not market as dietary supplements any products that are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Longwood Herbal Task Force
This site has in-depth monographs about herbal products and supplements written by health professionals and students. It provides clinical information summaries, patient fact sheets, and information about toxicity and interactions as well as relevant links. The task force is a cooperative effort of the staff and students from Children’s Hospital, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

July 16, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Nutrition | , , | Leave a comment

Haz-Map (occupational health database) redesigned for web and mobile versions

three hazardous waste workers with barrelfarmer on tractor in field

 

From a recent email from NLM (US National Library of Medicine)

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) has released redesigned web and mobile versions of Haz-Map (http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/ ). The new design adapts to web browsers on desktop computers, laptops, and tablets, as well as mobile browsers on smart phones, such as iPhones, Android and Blackberry phones.

Haz-Map is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals at work.  Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms. It currently covers over 5997 chemical and biological agents and 235 occupational diseases.

More information can be found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/hazmap.html

June 13, 2012 Posted by | Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, environmental health, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Professional Health Care Resources | , , | Leave a comment

Looking for historical biomedical information? Try the redesigned IndexCat, a product of the US National Library of Medicine

In my last position as a medical librarian, IndexCat was the first place to go for finding historical biomedical articles and related information. Searches on IndexCat can find in minutes what took up to an hour or more in the print version, providing access to over 3.7 million items as information about books, journal articlesd,issertations, pamphlets, reports, newspaper clippings, case studies, obituary notices, letters, portraits, as well as rare books and manuscripts.

Screen capture of search options for interface at indexcat.nlm.nih.gov.

IndexCat has recently been redesigned for even easier access to the records of historical biomedical information.

IndexCat is “the [free!]online version of The Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office (Index-Catalogue) [, the]..multi-part printed bibliography or list of items in the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office, U.S. Army. It contains material dated from the 1400s through 1950 and is an important resource for researchers in the history of medicine, history of science, and for clinical research.”[http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/indexcat/abouticatalogue.html]

While IndexCat does not contain the full text of items, it provides enough information on them so they can be located at libraries.
If you need the full text of the items, the best place to start is your local public or academic library. Ask for a reference librarian.
He or she can help you find the item or assist you in getting a copy through interlibrary loan. And remember, most academic libraries will be happy to help those who are not affiliated with their institution. Just call ahead and ask how they assist the public.

Related blog post

How to obtain free/low cost medical and scientific articles (jflahiff.wordpress.com)


June 5, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Find Your Local Farmers Market

Agricultural Marketing Service

Farmers Market Search is a service of the US Dept of Agriculture’s marketing service.

Market information included in the National Farmers Market Directory is voluntary and self-reported to AMS by market managers, representatives from state farmers market agencies and associations, and other key market personnel. Listings in the Directory are updated on an ongoing basis throughout the year, and each spring, AMS makes a concentrated effort to solicit new and updated market information from farmers market stakeholders in order to keep the listings as accurate and comprehensive as possible. ..

..Both a national map of farmers markets (static) and state-specific maps of farmers markets (interactive) are available for viewing. To see a state-specific map, select a state from the select box at the top of the state column below; a link will appear for that state’s map…

A search engine [scroll to bottom of page]  can be used to search by location (as zip code), market name, products, payment methods, and more.

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Nutrition | | Leave a comment

Community Services Locator An Online Directory for Finding Community Services for Children and Families

Most communities have education, health, mental health, family support, parenting, child care, and other services that can help children and families. However, locating those services or even knowing which services to look for is often difficult. The Community Services Locator is designed to help service providers and families find available national, state, and local resources that can address child and family needs.

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | , , , | Leave a comment

Traditional Chinese Medicines – Some Are Dangerous

Herbal supplements

Herbal supplements (Photo credit: Ano Lobb. @healthyrx)

As I’ve stated in previous postings here, choose your alternative/traditional/complementary medicines and therapies wisely.
Also, include herbs, supplements and traditional medicines in “medications” lists you share with your healthcare provider, pharmacist, or any healthcare professional you are consulting.  Many of these non-prescription items can interfere with any prescription medicine you are taking.
The Related Resources section below has links to trusted resources. However, they are not meant to replace advice from you health care provider.

From the 14 April 2012 article at Medical News Today

Australian border officials seized 15 TCMs (traditional Chinese medicines), which researchers from the Murdoch University analyzed to reveal the animal and plant composition by using new DNA sequencing technology. The results, published in PLoS Genetics, showed that some of the analyzed TCM samples contained potentially toxic plant ingredients, allergens, as well as traces of endangered animals.Leading researcher, Dr. Bunce, and a Murdoch University Australian Research Council Future Fellow commented:

“TCMs have a long cultural history, but today consumers need to be aware of the legal and health safety issues before adopting them as a treatment option.”

Related Resources

  • HerbMed® 
    an interactive, electronic herbal database – provides hyperlinked access to the scientific data underlying the use of herbs for health. It is an impartial, evidence-based information resource provided by the nonprofit Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc. This public site provides access to 20 of the most popular herbs.
  • Herbs at a Glance (US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
    a series of fact sheets that provides basic information about specific herbs or botanicals—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information.
  • Herbal Links
    a compilation of  sites that the researchers at the University of Iowa Drug Information Service consider to be the highest quality and most useful to pharmacists for finding information concerning herbal medicines.
  • Longwood Herbal Task Force
    This site has in-depth monographs about herbal products and supplements written by health professionals and students. It provides clinical information summaries, patient fact sheets, and information about toxicity and interactions as well as relevant links. The task force is a cooperative effort of the staff and students from Children’s Hospital, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

  • Drug Information Portal (US National Library of Medicine)
    Search by drug.  Information includes some basic resources (as that at MedlinePlus) plus some more technical ones (as Toxilogical Data and Literature)

  • Dietary Supplements Labels Database Information about label ingredients in more than 6,000 selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to compare label ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the “structure/function” claims made by manufacturers.These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Companies may not market as dietary supplements any products that are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
  • NCCAM Director’s Page – It’s Time to Talk (March 13, 2012)
    • Time to Talk is a recently launched NCAAM series which encourages folks to discuss complementary health practices with their health care providersThe director notes the following
      • We know that nearly 40 percent of Americans use some kind of complementary health practice. But we also know that most patients do not proactively disclose use of complementary health practices to their health care providers. Likewise, most providers don’t initiate the discussion with their patients. As a physician, I strongly believe that patients and their health care providers need to talk openly about all of their health care practices to ensure safe, coordinated care. Talking not only allows fully integrated care, but it also minimizes risks of interactions with a patient’s conventional treatments.
    1. List the complementary health practices you use on your patient history form. When completing the patient history form, be sure to include everything you use—from acupuncture to zinc.  It’s important to give health care providers a full picture of what you do to manage your health.
    2. At each visit, be sure to tell your providers about what complementary health approaches you are using. Don’t forget to include over-the-counter and prescription medicines, as well as dietary and herbal supplements. Make a list in advance, or download and print this wallet card and take it with you. Some complementary health approaches can have an effect on conventional medicine, so your provider needs to know.
    3. If you are considering a new complementary health practice, ask questions. Ask your health care providers about its safety, effectiveness, and possible interactions with medications (both prescription and nonprescription).

April 16, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , | 2 Comments

What the ‘limits of DNA’ story reveals about the challenges of science journalism in the ‘big data’ age

This journalist ends her post by acknowledging that the medical news readership often bases their decisions on medical and science news articles. She and others strive to report based on sound science, despite current obstacles.

Excerpts from the 6 April 2012 blog post at The Last Word on Nothing

As a science journalist, I sympathize with book reviewers who wrestle with the question of whether to write negative reviews. It seems a waste of time to write about a dog of a book when there are so many other worthy ones; but readers deserve to know if Oprah is touting a real stinker.
On 2 April, Science Translational Medicine published a study on DNA’s shortcomings in predicting disease. My editors and I had decided not to cover the study last week after we saw it in the journal’s embargoed press packet, because my sources offered heavy critiques of its methods..

…I ended up writing about the paper anyway after it made a huge media splash that prompted fury among geneticists. In a thoughtful post at the Knight Science Journalism tracker, Paul Raeburn asked yesterday why other reporters didn’t notice the problems with the study that I wrote about. Having been burned by my own share of splashy papers that go bust, I think the “limits of DNA “ story underscores a few broader issues for our work as science journalists:
1. Science consists of more and more “big data” studies whose findings depend on statistical methods that few of us reporters can understand on our own. I never would have detected the statistical problems with the Vogelstein paper by myself. We can look for certain red flags that a study might not be up to snuff, such as small sample sizes or weak clinical trial designs, but it’s a lot harder to sniff out potential problems with complicated statistical methods.

2. Challenges in the news business are ratcheting up pressure on all of us. Reporters are doing much more work in much less time than we have in the past as we compete with an expanded universe of news providers who have sped up the news cycle. Yet it still takes time and effort to make sense of the developments we cover. It took me about three days to report my piece on the Vogelstein paper while I was simultaneously working on other assignments. That’s probably longer than most reporters can spend on a piece like this…

The article goes on to point out other challenges as

4. It’s becoming more difficult to trust traditional scientific authorities.

5. Beware the deceptively simple storyline.

6. Getting the story right matters more than ever.

Related Resources

April 10, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Medical and Health Research News | , , | Leave a comment

How to discuss online health information with your physician

From the 4 April 2012 blog post by NATASHA BURGERT, MD at KevinMD.com

Two articles recently caught my eye while I was spending some time on Twitter. First, an op-ed piece was published on Time.com discussing how patients and doctors perceive the use of the online health information. The article was closely followed by the results of a recent PEW research study which stated that 80% of Americans used the internet to “prepare for or recover from” their doctor visit.

The results of the PEW study were less than surprising to me. Everyday I have a concerned mom or anxious dad refer to something they have read online…

My favorite public sites for health information include:
My favorite public sites for health information include:
•    Is your child sick? This feature is on our practice’s website to give families some information about common childhood symptoms. The site also give some guidance about what symptoms are concerning enough to contact the on-call physician.
•    www.uptodate.com This is a very well-designed site providing general information on health conditions and their treatments.
•    www.healthychildren.org A website full of childhood health information developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
•    www.cdc.gov General information on illness, vaccines, and travel concerns.
•    www.vaccine.chop.edu Complete, concise vaccine information.

The article stresses the following

  • Critique what you find
  • If your provider allows, send links and articles to your doctor before the visit
  • Prepare for a “no”

Related Resources

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories | Leave a comment

Best Time For A Coffee Break? There’s An App For That

From the 16 February 2012 Medical News Today article

Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and soda are the pick-me-ups of choice for many people, but too much caffeine can cause nervousness and sleep problems.

Caffeine Zone software app developed by Penn State researchers, can help people determine when caffeine may give them a mental boost and when it could hurt their sleep patterns. The software takes information on caffeine use and integrates it with information on the effects of caffeine to produce a graph of how the caffeine will affect the users over time. …

The app is available on iTunes for free with advertisements and for purchase without ads. It only works on Apple devices – the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
Penn State

 

For information on how to select health apps (with links to select health apps), please visit my Health Apps Web page

February 18, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories | , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Gauge Hospital Quality, Patients Deserve More Outcome Measures One Comment

From the 15 February 2012 Health Care Blog item

Patients, providers and the public have much to celebrate. This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Compare websiteadded central line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units to its list of publicly reported quality of care measures for individual hospitals.

Why is this so important? There is universal support for the idea that the U.S. health care system should pay for value rather than volume, for the results we achieve rather than efforts we make. Health care needs outcome measures for the thousands of procedures and diagnoses that patients encounter. Yet we have few such measures and instead must gauge quality by looking to other public data, such as process of care measures (whether patients received therapies shown to improve outcomes) and results of patient surveys rating their hospital experiences….

Related Resources

 

 

February 15, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, health care | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Molecular Secrets of Ancient Chinese Herbal Remedy Discovered [& related Alternative Medicine Resources]

For roughly two thousand years, Chinese herbalists have treated Malaria using a root extract, commonly known as Chang Shan, from a type of hydrangea that grows in Tibet and Nepal. More recent studies suggest that halofuginone, a compound derived from this extract’s bioactive ingredient, could be used to treat many autoimmune disorders as well. Now, researchers from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine have discovered the molecular secrets behind this herbal extract’s power.

It turns out that halofuginone (HF) triggers a stress-response pathway that blocks the development of a harmful class of immune cells, called Th17 cells, which have been implicated in many autoimmune disorders.

“HF prevents the autoimmune response without dampening immunity altogether,” said Malcolm Whitman, a professor of developmental biology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and senior author on the new study. “This compound could inspire novel therapeutic approaches to a variety of autoimmune disorders.”

“This study is an exciting example of how solving the molecular mechanism of traditional herbal medicine can lead both to new insights into physiological regulation and to novel approaches to the treatment of disease,” said Tracy Keller, an instructor in Whitman’s lab and the first author on the paper….

Related General Resources for Complementary/Alternative/Integrative Medicine

  • MEDLINE plus: Alternative Medicine Trusted health information links from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Includes basic information, news, organizations, specific conditions, multimedia, financial issues, and more
  • Bandolier: Evidenced Based Thinking about Healthcare - Alternative Medicine
    The site brings together the best evidence available about complementary and alternative therapies for consumers and professionals. It contains stories, systematic reviews and meta-analyses of complementary and alternative therapies with abstracts.
  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
    NCCAM is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, training complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals.

 

 

 

February 15, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Google knows more about certain diseases than physicians ever will

Hmm…  interesting “point” “counterpoint” items on finding health information on the Web

Overall, I think Google and other search engines are doing a better job of locating health information.
However, it is good to keep in mind that search engines rank items, they do not evaluate them!
So, search safely, knowing that search engines do not index 100% of what is available on the World Wide Web.

If you do decide to find health information on the Web, please evaluate content carefully!
Health Information is best used in consultation with a professional health care provider (or 2!)

A few good guides on evaluating health information may be found at

Unlike information found in medical textbooks, which has been evaluated and edited by professionals, the information on the Internet is unfiltered. It is up to the user to evaluate and judge how good the information really is. When looking for health information it is particularly important to think about the information critically and examine the Web site carefully. Listed below are some questions and tips to think about when searching for good health information on the Internet.

What type of site is it? Is it a government site, educational or commercial? Look at the web address for the extension. The most common are .gov for government, .edu for educational, .com for commercial and .org for organizational.

Who is sponsoring the site? A good Web site will make sponsorship information clear. There should also be an address (besides an e-mail address) or a phone number to contact for more information.

What are the credentials of the sponsor or author of the material on site? If it is an organization or association, is it nationally recognized or is it a local group? Also, are the author’s qualifications relevant to the topic being discussed? For example, someone with a Ph.D. in psychology should not necessarily be accepted as an expert on nutrition.

What is the purpose of the site? Is it a public service or is it trying to sell something? If there is advertising on a page, something that is more and more common even with non-commercial sites, it should be clearly separated from the informational content. Also, it is easy to disguise promotional material as “patient education” on web sites. If a product or treatment is given a good review on one site, try to find other sites that also approve of it.

How current is the information? A good site will list when a page was first established and when it was last up-dated. If there are links to other sites, are they up-to-date?

How accurate is the information? This can be hard to determine if you’re not familiar with a topic but there are some things to look for. For example, is the information free of spelling errors and typos? Mistakes of these kind can indicate a lack of quality control. Are the sources of factual information listed? For instance, if a document states, “recent studies indicate…”, are the sources for the study listed so they can be verified? If a topic is controversial, is the information presented in a balanced way? There are many controversies in regard to treatment options; however, a good site will present the pros and cons of a particular option. Be cautious with sites that claim “miracle cures” or make conspiracy claims.

Evaluate each site separately. Links can often lead from a good site to ones of lesser quality.

Look for awards or certificates that a site has received. For example, the HON Code logo is displayed by sites that have agreed to abide by eight principals set by the Health on the Net Foundation. These principles set standards for accuracy, bias, sponsorship and confidentiality. When using a directory or search engine that rates sites, read the page that discusses what criteria are used to determine a site’s rating.

The Internet is a wonderful source of information and, when used carefully, can be very helpful in answering health-related questions. But the information found on the Internet should never be used as a substitute for consulting with a health professional. And, whenever using the Internet, keep in mind the caveat, “It is so easy to post information on the Internet that almost any idiot can do it, and almost every idiot has.”

 

And finally, a few good places to start finding reputable, timely health information

Image DetailCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the US governments primary way to communicate information on diseases, conditions, and safety. Information may be found in areas as ….






eMedicine Consumer Health has over 900 health and medical articles. Most articles include causes, symptoms, treatment options, prevention, prognosis, and more. Information may also be browsed by topic (Topics A-Z).  Additional features include picture slideshowshealth calculators, and more.




familydoctor.org -- health information for the whole family



Familydoctor.org includes health information for the whole family
Short generalized information on Diseases and Conditions (with A-Z index), Health Information for Seniors, Men, and Women, Healthy Living Topics, pages geared to Parents & Kids, and videos.  Numerous health tools in the left column (as health trackers, health assessments, and a Search by Symptom page.


 

Healthfinder.gov is a US government Web site with information and tools that can help you stay healthy. Resources on a wide range of health topics carefully selected from over 1,600 government and non-profit organizations. Social media options to connect you with people and organizations that can help you on your journey to living a healthier life.

Content includes information on over 1,600 health-related topicsQuick Guide to Healthy Living, and free interactive tools to check your health, get personalized advice, and keep track of your progress.


KidsHealth provides information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years. Material is written by doctors in understandable language at three levels: parents, kids, and teens
KidsHealth also provides families with perspective, advice, and comfort about a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral issues that affect children and teens.


 

February 13, 2012 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public) | , , , | Leave a comment

VaccineEthics.org – A Great Source for Summaries, News, Links to Published Items, and Additional Resources

Came across this Web site via a blog posting at Life of a Lab Rat  (imho a great blog to follow- well grounded and informative on a nice range of topics)

Here’s a brief breakdown of Vaccines.org

  • Issue Briefs -essays that review significant topics, developments, and controversies in vaccine ethics and policy.
    these summaries reflect facts, ethical issues, and varied opinions by professionals (including policy makers)
  •  News Blog
  • Bibliography -over 1300 items published since 1995 in scholarly journals, government reports, the popular media, and books; searchable
  • Resources include links to vaccine research institutions and programs, relevant government (US and other) agencies, professional organizations, and more
  • To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate? (education.com)
  • We need an app for credible information on vaccines (kevinmd.com)

    “…

    What if we had real time information about our schools? About our neighborhood? What if Google mapped our rates of protection from vaccinations? What if we had a smart phone app that provided us yearly data on school immunization/exemption rates when we selected a kindergarten? Why not an app for that?

    So what if we gave new parents the tools to help educate Aunt Judy who refuses the Tdap shot. …

    We have an opportunity to harness the tools of social media to affect real change and deconstruct barriers. Patients don’t only want more credible science, they want the truth from a trusted partner. The real story, the real facts. We patients want access to why/what/how to protect our children. Doctors need to be communicating online as a part of their day. We already know that parents trust the pediatrician more than anyone else when it comes to questions about vaccine safety. And we’ve known this for a long time. Dr. Diekema hints at online opportunity here:

    Fourth, clinicians, health care organizations, and public health departments must learn to use the tools of persuasion effectively. In The Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle argued that persuasion requires not only a reasonable argument and supporting data, but also a messenger who is trustworthy and attentive to the audience and a message that engages the audience emotionally.

  • Childhood Immunizations and Vaccinations | Special Edition | Education.com (education.com)
  • How bacteria behind serious childhood disease evolve to evade vaccines (jflahiff.wordpress.com)

February 12, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Live Science – Commercial Site of Science, Health, and Technology News since 2004

 

This morning I stumbled upon LiveScience.com while perusing January’s Internet Reviews at College and Research Library News.

Live Science provide news in the areas of science, health, and technology for a general academic audience, especially undergraduates.It is a commercial site that is part of the TechMedia Network (which also includes TechNews Daily and Business News Daily). LiveScience content is often featured at partner sites including Yahoo and MSNBC.com. Most of the professional journalists on the editorial staff  hold advanced degrees in technology or the sciences.

The site can be a big overwhelming at first with its images and video links, but there is wealth of information for the patient!
The features include:

  • 11 subject areas in the bar at the top of the page – “Space,” “Animals,” “Health,” “Environment,” “Technology,” “History,” “Culture,” “Video,” Strange News,” “Images,” and “Topics.”
  • “Top Stories” section typically presents five current news items along with a variety of rotating images.
  • Images  (containing considerable archives)  with links to albums, infographics, and wallpapers

 

 

 

February 9, 2012 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health News Items, Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News | , , , | Leave a comment

New Federal Policy Initiatives To Boost Health Literacy Can Help The Nation Move Beyond The Cycle Of Costly ‘Crisis Care’ [With Related Resources]

Health literacy used to be thought of as a problem individuals had in understanding health information and making health decisions. Now health literacy is beginning to be viewed in more holistic terms. For example, health care providers (from nurses to institutions) now view themselves as having roles in providing relevant understandable information to patients and the public.
What brought about this change in focus? According to the article below, major health policy initiatives at the federal level, including the “Plain Writing Act of 2010, which requires all new publications, forms, and publicly distributed documents from the federal government to be written in a “clear, concise, well-organized” manner.”

A good summary of this change in direction and focus may be found within the article…
New Federal Policy Initiatives To Boost Health Literacy Can Help The Nation Move Beyond The Cycle Of Costly ‘Crisis Care’

Here is an abstract of the article (in the journal Health Affairs, January 12, 2012)

Health literacy is the capacity to understand basic health information and make appropriate health decisions. Tens of millions of Americans have limited health literacy—a fact that poses major challenges for the delivery of high-quality care. Despite its importance, health literacy has until recently been relegated to the sidelines of health care improvement efforts aimed at increasing access, improving quality, and better managing costs. Recent federal policy initiatives, including the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, and the Plain Writing Act of 2010, have brought health literacy to a tipping point—that is, poised to make the transition from the margins to the mainstream. If public and private organizations make it a priority to become health literate, the nation’s health literacy can be advanced to the point at which it will play a major role in improving health care and health for all Americans…

In years past, clinicians and researchers alike largely viewed these issues and outcomes in terms of individual patient deficits—that is, a patient’s lack of knowledge and skills regarding health issues. We now recognize that health literacy is a dynamic systems issue,2 reflecting the complexity of both the health information being presented and the health care system being navigated.3 As summarized by the Institute of Medicine, addressing the challenge of health literacy requires system-level changes for both health professionals and organizations…

It is impossible to list all relevant related resources here!
A small sampling..

Health Literacy Library Guides (while aimed at professionals, librarians, etc, some have links to materials for the rest of us)

Great places to start for health information on many topics (diseases, conditions, talking with health care professionals, etc)

(More Great Places here)

  • MedlinePlus - Over 750 topics on conditions, diseases, and wellness.  Information ondrugs, herbs, and supplements. Links to directories (health care providers, health care facilities, etc) and organizations which provider health information. Surgery videos, informative slideshows, and more.
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – Consumers and Patients
    the latest evidence based information for improving your health, including podcasts and videos
  • Familydoctor.org includes health information for the whole family
    Short generalized information on Diseases and Conditions (with A-Z index), Health Information for Seniors, Men, and Women, Healthy Living Topics, pages geared to Parents & Kids, and videos.  Numerous health tools in the left column (as health trackers, health assessments, and a Search by Symptom page.

  • KidsHealth provides information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years. Material is written by doctors in understandable language at three levels: parents, kids, and teens
    KidsHealth also provides families with perspective, advice, and comfort about a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral issues that affect children and teens.

Understanding Health Research

  • “Summaries for Patients”  are short summaries of studies and clinical guidelines (how medicine is best practiced) are  published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
    [Go to Summaries for Patients, scroll down a little, the right column has  link to all summaries and a search box ]Summaries about studies describe how researchers did the published study and what they found.
    Summaries about clinical guidelines describe the official recommendations for patient care
  • patientINFORM plain language summary Web sites are provided by participating publishers to help patients or their caregivers more fully understand the implications of research and to provide links to the full text of research articles they’ve selected from participating journals. The publishers allow readers following links from patientINFORM material on the health organizations’ sites to access the full text of these articles without a subscription, and they provide patients and caregivers with free or reduced-fee access to other articles in participating journals.
  • Cochrane Collaboration provides systematic reviews (thorough summaries) of the strongest evidence available about healthcare interventions (as drugs and medical procedures).  It does not cover all interventions, but those covered were reviewed  in-depth by experts in the medical and library fields.
    • Here is how to find plain language  and audio summaries of Cochrane reviewsGo to the Cochrane Collaboration home page and scroll down to Browse Free Summaries.
      Topics include Breast Cancer, Dementia and Cognitive Improvement, and Complementary Medicine.
      Click on To the Cochrane Library in the upper right corner of the Cochrance Collaboration home page.
      This Cochrane Library search page has a Help page , and an Advanced Search option.
  • HealthNewsReview.org – Independent Expert Reviews of News Stories
    The site is dedicated to

    • Improving the accuracy of news stories about medical treatments, tests, products and procedures.
    • Helping consumers evaluate the evidence for and against new ideas in health care.

Health News Review includes

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Study: For Now, Web-Based Healthcare Tools [and Possibly Health Apps] Are Mostly Ineffective [With Links to Reviewed Health Apps For All]]

Health apps designed for the general population have potential in tracking health indicators (as food eaten, glucose levels) and also  communicating information and support among users. For example, Spark People  provides answers from dietitians & fitness trainers on message boards. One may connect with other members in support teams.

While it is very easy to find Health apps (iTunes, I believe,  is the largest supplier), it is very challenging to find easy to use apps that have been professionally reviewed.  The article below highlights one drawback of most present web-based healthcare tools- usability. It seems highly likely, that by extension, that health care apps are largely lacking in usability also.

Here are a few resources I used to create short lists of reputable easy to use health apps.

  • Hasman, Linda An Introduction to Consumer Health Apps for the iPhone Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet2011 Oct-Dec, 15(4):322-329.  “The 19 apps listed in this article are culled from approximately 350,000 total apps”.
     [Article available by subscription only,  I got this (for free!) through the interlibrary loan dept at my local library, it contains about 19 good sites, some I will add to my health apps page]
  • iMedicalapps – Medical Librarians corner iMedicalapps includes medical app reviews and commentary by medical professionals
    The Medical Librarians corner included these great resources

Study: For Now, Web-Based Healthcare Tools Are Mostly Ineffective

From the 13 January 2012 ReadWriteWeb column

study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association accents the limits of web-based health management tools that are currently available.

Researchers focused specifically on tools for managing diabetes, but the drawbacks could extend to other tools designed to help patients do everything from lose weight to quit smoking. The study concluded that “despite their abundance, few practical web-accessible tools exist.” In many case, the tools suffered from poor design that made them difficult to use….

….Of the 92 web tools analyzed in the study, 60% had three or more usability errors, included limited use of visual interaction and navigation that was not intuitive. Just 6% had no usability errors..

..The study recommended companies offering such tools work on improving attrition, standardizing quality indicators and making indicators transparent for patients and doctors choosing the best web-based tool.

“Web-based tools have the potential to improve health outcomes and complement healthcare delivery, but their full potential is hindered by limited knowledge about their effectiveness, high prevalence of usability errors and high attrition rates,” Yu wrote….

One of the biggest problems facing web-based health tools is patients often use them inconsistently.

January 25, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , | Leave a comment

top 10 blogs for medical research

From the HighBeam 4 January 2012 blog item 

 

HighBeam Research chooses top 10 blogs for medical research

Posted on January 4, 2012 by Greg Jarboe

When looking for understanding and information, most people turn first to the Internet, and in return, those with information are sharing it via online sites and blogs. This may be the most true within the medical community. Blogs and online libraries have grown to be valuable resources for students, professors, working professionals and the general public who have not traditionally had such easy access. As an organization involved with medical research and providing medical resources, HighBeam Research would like to acknowledge our favorite medical blogs.

These top 10 blogs for medical research were handpicked by the HighBeam Research staff as our favorites and included based on their level of insightful and original content as well as the authority and trust that the authors enjoy in the Medical space. Here are our picks:

  • Science Based Medicine: Dedicated to evaluating medical treatments and products of interest to the public in a scientific light
  • Corante: In the Pipeline: Weblog about developments in pharmacology and chemistry
  • Life in the Fast Lane: Dedicated to providing online emergency medicine and critical care insights
  • Clinical Correlations: The NYU Langone Internal Medicine Blog – A Daily Dose of Medicine
  • Science Roll: A doctor’s journey in genetics PhD and medicine through Web 2.0
  • Dr. Shock: Focusing on psychology and the treatment of depression
  • Cases Blog: Health news updated daily by an Assistant Professor at University of Chicago
  • DrugWonks: The web log of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI), a forum offering rigorous and compelling research on the most critical issues affecting current drug policy
  • Academic Life in Emergency Medicine: Collaborating, meeting, and sharing with inspiring people in the academic world of Emergency Medicine
  • BMA Blog: Views from BMA Cymru Wales on health, politics and just about anything

January 15, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | | Leave a comment

FDA Warns About Stem Cell Claims

Diseases and conditions where stem cell treatm...

Cell Basics: What are the potential uses of human stem cells and the obstacles that must be overcome before these potential uses will be realized?. In Stem Cell Information World Wide Web site. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009. cited Sunday, April 26, 2009

 

Consumer Updates — FDA Warns About Stem Cell Claims

From the 6 January 2012 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Stem cell therapies offer the potential to treat diseases or conditions for which few treatments exist.

Stem cells, sometimes called the body’s “master cells,” are the precursor cells that develop into blood, brain, bones and all of your organs. Their promise in medical treatments is that they have the potential to repair, restore, replace and regenerate cells that could then be used to treat many medical conditions and diseases.

But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is concerned that the hope that patients have for cures not yet available may leave them vulnerable to unscrupulous providers of stem cell treatments that are illegal and potentially harmful.

FDA cautions consumers to make sure that any stem cell treatment they are considering has been approved by FDA or is being studied under a clinical investigation that has been submitted to and allowed to proceed by FDA.

FDA has approved only one stem cell product [Flahiff’s emphasis], Hemacord, a cord blood-derived product manufactured by the New York Blood Center and used for specified indications in patients with disorders affecting the body’s blood-forming system.

Regulation of Stem Cells

FDA regulates stem cells in the U.S. to ensure that they are safe and effective for their intended use.

“Stem cells can come from many different sources and under the right conditions can give rise to many different cell types,” says Stephanie Simek, Ph.D., deputy director of FDA’s Office of Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies.

Stem cells that come from bone marrow or blood are routinely used in transplant procedures to treat patients with cancer and other disorders of the blood and immune system.

Umbilical cord blood is collected from a placenta with the birth mother’s consent. Cord blood cells are then isolated, processed, and frozen and stored in a cord blood bank for future use. Cord blood is regulated by FDA and cord blood banks must follow regulatory requirements.

But there are many other stem cell products, including other cord blood-derived products, that have been reviewed by FDA for use in investigational studies, says Simek.  Investigational products undergo a thorough review process as the sponsor prepares to study the safety and effectiveness of the product in adequate and well-controlled human studies (clinical trials).

As part of this review, the sponsor must show how the product will be manufactured so that FDA can make certain that appropriate steps are being taken to help assure the product’s safety, purity and potency. FDA also requires that there be sufficient data generated from animal studies to aid in evaluating any potential risks associated with the use of these products.

Consumers need to be aware that at present–other than cord blood for certain specified indications–there are no approved stem cell products.

Advice for Consumers

  • If you are considering stem cell treatment in the U.S., ask your physician if the necessary FDA approval has been obtained or if you will be part of an FDA-regulated clinical study. This also applies if the stem cells are your own. Even if the cells are yours, there are safety risks, including risks introduced when the cells are manipulated after removal.There is a potential safety risk when you put cells in an area where they are not performing the same biological function as they were when in their original location in the body,” says Simek. Cells in a different environment may multiply, form tumors, or may leave the site you put them in and migrate somewhere else.
  • If you are considering having stem cell treatment in another country, learn all you can about regulations covering the products in that country. Exercise caution before undergoing treatment with a stem cell-based product in a country that—unlike the U.S.—may not require clinical studies designed to demonstrate that the product is safe and effective. FDA does not regulate stem cell treatments used in solely in countries other than the United States and typically has little information about foreign establishments or their stem cell products.

Thwarting a Stem Cell Scheme

In December, 2011, three men were arrested in the United States and charged with 15 counts of criminal activity related to manufacturing, selling and using stem cells without FDA sanction or approval.

According to the criminal indictment, one of the accused, a licensed midwife who operated a maternity care clinic in Texas, obtained umbilical cord blood from birth mothers, telling them it was for “research” purposes. Instead, the midwife sold the cord blood to a laboratory in Arizona which, in turn, sent the blood to a paid consultant at a university in South Carolina. The owner of the laboratory in Arizona was convicted in August 2011 of unlawfully introducing stem cells into interstate commerce.  She faces up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The consultant, an assistant professor, used university facilities to manufacture stem cell products. He then sent the products back to the lab, which sold them to a man representing himself as a physician licensed in the U.S. The man then traveled to Mexico to perform unapproved stem cell procedures on people suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.

The three defendants allegedly received more than $1.5 million from patients seeking treatment for incurable diseases.

“Scammers like these offer false hope to people with incurable diseases in order to line their own pockets with money,” says Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Holland of FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI), Kansas City Field Office. “FDA will continue to aggressively pursue perpetrators who expose the American public to the dangers of unapproved stem cells and ensure that they are punished to the full extent of the law.”

FDA’s OCI worked the case with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Division.

This article appears on FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Related Resources

January 9, 2012 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Health News Items | , , | Leave a comment

Springer Unleashes Free SpringerLink App for iPhone, iPod Touch

From the 3 January 2012 blog item at eContent

 

Springer’s SpringerLink science platform is now available in a free mobile app for iPhone and iPod touch, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. The app contains articles from over 2,000 peer-reviewed journals and chapters from 49,000 books, totaling over 5.4 million documents that span multiple areas of science, technology, and medicine.

Free content in the form of article abstracts, over 127,000 open access research articles, plus book and journal covers and other document details are included in the app. The SpringerLink app includes features like personalized notifications; “save” and “share” capabilities, including enabled sharing via email, Facebook, and Twitter; advanced search options; document details, including abstracts; and full-text views, which are available to institutional subscribers.

Springer publishes nearly 500 academic and professional society journals and is a part of the Springer Science+Business Media publishing group.

(www.springerlink.com)

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Many NIH-funded clinical trials go unpublished over two years after completion (with ClinicalTrials.gov link for many trial study results)

[Flahiff’s note:  It is possible that  many of these unpublished clinical trial results would have made a positive difference in many people’s lives. These unpublished results have the potential of aiding many researchers. They can prevent unnecessary duplicate trials, point to areas needing more research, and potentially provide groundwork for collaboration.

On another note, it is good to see that published research papers are now more accessible to all.  As of 2008, research papers based on NIH grants must be submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) when those papers are accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. PMC will then make the papers freely available to the public within 12 months of publication.

I look forward to the day when all research papers are freely available to the public.  There are a myriad of issues, as who pays for the publishing, the peer review process, and where the research papers should be “housed”. However, I believe the more scientific research results are disseminated in easily accessible format, the more we can advance in technology applications and filling in knowledge gaps.]

Excerpt from the 3 January 2012 article By Karen N. Peart at Yale News

In a study that investigates the challenges of disseminating clinical research findings in peer-reviewed biomedical journals, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that fewer than half of a sample of trials primarily or partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were published within 30 months of completing the clinical trial.

These findings appear in the January issue of the British Medical Journal, which focuses on the topic of unpublished evidence.

[As of 3 January 2012, the January issue of BMJ was not yet online..however many of the articles may be found at http://www.bmj.com/archive/sevendays]

“When research findings are not disseminated, the scientific process is disrupted and leads to redundant efforts and misconceptions about clinical evidence,” said Dr. Joseph Ross, first author of the study and a Yale assistant professor of medicine. “Such inaction undermines both the trial in question and the evidence available in peer-reviewed medical literature. This has far-reaching implications for policy decisions, and even institutional review board assessments of risks and benefits associated with future research studies.”…

Ross said that there may be many reasons for lack of publication, such as not getting accepted by a journal or not prioritizing the dissemination of research findings. Still, he said, there are alternative methods for providing timely public access to study results, including the results database at ClinicalTrials.gov** that was created in response to Federal law.

[From the About Page at Clinical Trials.gov
US Public Law 110-85 (Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 or FDAAA), Title VIII, Section 801 mandates that a “responsible party” (i.e., the study sponsor or designated principal investigator) register and report results of certain “applicable clinical trials” that were initiated or ongoing as of September 27, 2007…]

Related Resource

ClinicalTrials.gov

ClinicalTrials.gov  offers up-to-date information for locating federally and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions.

ClinicalTrials.gov currently contains 118,682 trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, other federal agencies, and private industry.

**Here is how one can check for study results
(remember, researchers are not mandated to submit study results to ClinicalTrials.gov, they are voluntary)

    • Go to ClinicalTrials.gov
    • Click on Search (upper right corner)
    • Click on Advanced Search
    • Go to Study Results, use drop down menu to select Studies with results
    • Fill out rest of form with as much specific information as you can
      especially search terms, conditions, and/or interventions

ClinicalTrials.gov records with published results listed via the PubMed medical literature search service.  

  •         Use the Advanced Search with the search phrase clinicaltrials.gov[si]

Use the Builder  limit results by topics (as a disease, medical device), year(s), name of researcher/invesitator)

  •         Need help searching? PubMed has tutorials , including a YouTube at the Advanced Search Page

        Ask for assistance from a reference librarian at your local public, academic, hospital, or medical library.
Many academic, hospital, and medical libraries offer at least basic search help to all. Call ahead and ask
about their services. You may be pleasantly surprised.

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Tutorials/Finding aids | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Medical Reference for Non-Medical Librarians (most resources are free and online)

Medical Reference for Non-Medical Librarians.

Great advice and nice listing/categorizing of links

Contents of this site include

  • General Tips on how to assist customers/patrons/patients
  • General Online Health/Medical resources
  • Popular medical guides
  • Dictionaries
  • Evidence Based Medicine Resources
  • Disease,Diagnosis,Treament
  • Nutrition
  • Drugs
  • Mental Health
  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Ask an Expert

 

December 30, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public) | , , | Leave a comment

[Online Resource]Digital Librarian: a librarian’s choice of the best of the Web

Digital Librarian: a librarian’s choice of the best of the Web.

Digital Librarian is a carefully selected list of great resources on just about every t0pic one would expect covered in a public library setting.

Librarian Margaret Vail Anderson updates this listing almost every month.

Of particular interest in the health/science areas are

December 30, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , | Leave a comment

Medical Apps Forum – via News from the Krafty Librarian

Medical Apps Forum.

 iMedicalApps has just launched a new medical apps forum for the medical community to discuss mobile apps and technology. 

Not only will there be general discussions about various apps but they will have specialty areas for people to discuss specific issues without the post getting lost or  bogged down in the general discussion area. In addition the editors and writers on iMedicalApps will be answering questions about mobile technology in the forum.

iMedicalApps is a great resource for reading articles about medical apps for smartphones, hopefully the forum can take that information and extend it and keep it current and practical.

December 30, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | , , | Leave a comment

Fee based health info may be free online through your library’s Web site

The Internet has a wealth of health information from trusted, reliable sites.
(I’ve noted quite a few in this blog and at my Google site – Health and Medical News and Resources)

However, it is not always easy to locate health information, especially on specific topics.

Your local public or academic library just may have the online sources you need.
Although quite a few online resources require paid subscriptions, your library may have included them at their Web site.
All you have to do is register for borrowing privileges (get a library card) at your local library.
Alternatively, you may be able to just go to the library and get access through their computers.

At my local library, I discovered the following…some or all just might be at your library also…ask a reference librarian or check the library’s Web site

  • Alt Health Watch 
    Offers information about Alternative Health issues, including complementary, holistic and integrated approaches to health care and wellness. Provides full text articles form a number of sources, including: journals, reports, consumer newsletters, pamphlets, booklets, special reports, original research and book excerpts. This database is provided by OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network.
  • ConsumerReports.org
    Ratings and reviews, recommendations and buying advice for thousands of products and services. Users will also find in-depth advice, tips and trends written by Consumer Reports experts. Frequently updated articles, blogs and video content allow consumers to peruse the latest consumer news — whether they’re looking to learn more about budget-friendly home improvement plans, understanding the benefits and risks of retirement options, or searching for the latest recalls of baby products. This database provided by the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
  • Health & Wellness Resource Center
    Provides up-to-date reference material as well as full-text magazines, journals, and pamphlets from a wide variety of authoritative medical sources. Includes streaming videos featuring medical experts plus links to key health websites.
  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
    Provides scholarly full text journals focusing on many medical disciplines and featuring the Lexi-PAL Drug Guide, which covers 1,300 generic drug patient education sheets with more than 4,700 brand names. This database is provided by OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network.
  • MEDLINE
    Offers medical information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system and pre-clinical sciences among many subjects. This database is provided by OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network.
  • Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection
    Covers many psychological topics, including emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry and psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods. This database is provided by OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network.
Related Resources

December 29, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program

Concerned about the safety of your drugs or medical advices? Wish to report a serious medical product problem online?
The US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) can help.

MedWatch logo

Medwatch is the FDA gateway for clinically important safety information and reporting serious problems with human medical products.

Safety Information includes

Medwatch also encourages anyone to report serious problems with human medical products

Want to stay informed with MedWatch updates? Here are some options…

Stay Informed

Track medication safety from your iPhone

Now available for free in the iTunes store!

Stay up to date with the latest news and government safety alerts for the prescription medicines you take. Submit any side effects you experience to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make drugs safer for everyone.

MedWatcher is a mobile tool for both healthcare professionals and the general public.

December 29, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Finding Aids/Directories | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Search the Office of Minority Health’s Library Catalog Online | Health Information Literacy – for health and well being

OMH LogoUS Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health

 

Search the Office of Minority Health’s Library Catalog Online | Health Information Literacy – for health and well being

The catalog can be searched to find free online material related to the health status of racial and ethnic minority populations. including

  • Books
  • Reports
  • Journals
  • Media
  • Organizations

 

The latest acquisitions include (click here to view the list with the hyperlinks)


1. Access to Care [Infopak, 2010].   Chicago, IL: American Dental Association (ADA, 2010. 8 p.

MH11D10736

  Available online at

http://www.ada.org/sections/educationAndCareers/pdfs/access to care infopak-2010.pdf   [PDF

| 205.99KB]

2. Collecting and Using Race, Ethnicity and Language Data in Ambulatory Settings: A White 

Paper with Recommendations from the Commission to End Health Care Disparities.

Chicago, IL: American Medical Association (AMA), 2011. 26 p.   MH11D10737

  Available online at http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/public-health/cehcd-redata.pdf

[PDF | 299.14KB]

3. Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis: Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & 

Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.   Washington, D.C. US Department of Health and Human Services

(HHS), 2011. vi, 76 p.   MH11D10748

  Available online at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/hepatitis/actionplan viralhepatitis2011.pdf

[PDF | 672.06KB]

4. Developing Health Literacy Older Adults: Expert Panel Report.   Washington, D.C. US

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 2009. iv, 48 p.   MH11D10753

  Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/Learn/pdf/olderadults.pdf  [PDF | 2.37MB]

5. Do Baby Products Prevent SIDS? FDA Says No.   Rockville, MD: Food and Drug

Administration (FDA), 2011. 2 p.   MH11D10756

  Available online at

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM275852.pdf  [PDF |

568.43KB]

6. Dream Baskets: Focusing On your Future [Las Canastas de Suenos: Enfocandote en Tu 

Futuro]: Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention [Prevencion del Embarazo en Adolescentes].

Sarasota, FL: Oasis Publications, Inc., 2012. 48 p.   MH11D10740

7. Ending the Tobacco Epidemic: A Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan for the U.S. 

Department of Health and Human Services.   Washington, D.C. US Department of Health and

Human Services (HHS), 2010. 62 p.   MH11D10750

  Available online at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/tobacco/tobaccostrategicplan2010.pdf

[PDF | 2.24MB]

8. Expert Panel on Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health Risk Reduction in 

Children and Adolescents: Summary Report.   Bethesda, MD: National Heart Lung and Blood

Institute, 2011. 125 p.   MH11D10757

  Available online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cvd ped/peds guidelines sum.pdf  [PDF

| 1.24MB]

9. First Nations Traditional Models of Wellness [Traditional Medicines and Practices]: 

Environmental Scan in British Colombia.  West Vancouver, BC: First Nations Health Society,

2010. 51 p.   MH11D10781

  Available online at

http://www.fnhc.ca/pdf/Traditional Models of Wellness Report FIN- 2010.pdf  [PDF | 1.69MB]

10. Giving 2.0: Transform your Giving and Our World.   San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley

Imprint, 2012. vii, 312 p.   MH11D10791

11. Healthy People 2010 Final Review.   Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human

Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics, 2011.

662 p.   MH11D10755

  Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hpdata2010/hp2010final review.pdf  [PDF |

12.10MB]

12. HIV in Communities of Color: The Compendium of Culturally Competent Promising 

Practices: The Role of Traditional Healing in HIV Clinical Management.   Washington, DC:

AIDS Education and Training Center, National Multicultural Center, Howard University Medical

School, 2011. 64 p.   MH11D10747

  Available online at http://www.aetcnmc.org/CompendiumBook Traditional Healing.pdf  [PDF |

2.51MB]

13. Language Access & Interpretation: Resources for Policy, Research, Services and 

Advocacy.   San Francisco, CA: Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence,

2011. 16 p.   MH11D10785

  Available online at

http://www.apiidv.org/files/Language.Access.Interpretation-Resource.List-APIIDV-5.2011.pdf

[PDF | 299.09KB]

14. The Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience.   Brooklyn, NY:

American Human Development Project, 2010. 317 p.   MH11D10795

  Available online at http://www.measureofamerica.org/the-measure-of-america-2010-2011-book/

15. Medicaid: A Lifeline for Blacks and Latinos with Serious Health Care Needs.   Washington,

D.C. Families USA, 2011. 25 p.   MH11D10788

Available online at http://familiesusa2.org/assets/pdfs/medicaid/Lifeline-Blacks-and-Latinos.pdf

[PDF | 499.89KB]

16. Multiple Chronic Conditions: A Strategic Framework: Optimum Health and Quality of Life 

for Individuals with Multiple Chronic Conditions.   Washington, D.C. US Department of

Health and Human Services (HHS), 2010. 103 p.   MH11D10751

  Available online at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/mcc/mcc framework.pdf  [PDF |

234.43KB]

17. Plan EJ 2014.   Washington, D.C. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2011.

vi, 185 p.   MH11D10759

  Available online at

http://www.epa.gov/compliance/ej/resources/policy/plan-ej-2014/plan-ej-2011-09.pdf  [PDF |

2.32MB]

18. Plan for a New Future: Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color.   Oakland, CA:

Insight Center for Community Economic Development and Global Policy Solutions, 2011. 48 p.

MH11D10784

  Available online at

http://www.insightcced.org/NewFuture Social Security Commission Report Final.pdf  [PDF |

910.01KB]

19. Portrayal and Perception: Two Audits of News Media Reporting on African American Men 

and Boys.   Pittsburgh, PA: The Heinz Endowment, 2011. 66 p.   MH11D10789

  Available online at

http://www.soros.org/initiatives/usprograms/focus/cbma/articles publications/publications/portrayal

-and-perception-20111101/portrayal-and-perception-20111101.pdf  [PDF | 766.18KB]

20. Priority Areas for Improvement of Quality in Public Health.   Washington, D.C. US

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 2010. xiv, 91 p.   MH11D10752

  Available online at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/quality/quality/improvequality2010.pdf

[PDF | 5.65MB]

21. Promising Pregnancies [=Embarazos Prometedores].   Sarasota, FL: Oasis Publications,

Inc., 2012. 38p.   MH11D10741

22. Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of “Don’t Ask, 

Don’t Tell”.   Washington, D.C. Department of Defense, 2010. iv, 257 p.   MH11D10738

  Available online at

http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0610 dadt/DADTReport FINAL20101130(secure-hi

res).pdf  [PDF | 7.22MB]

23. Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel: An Update on Rand’s 1993.   Santa Monica,

CA: RAND Corporation, 2010. xxxiv, 410 p.   MH11D10739

  Available online at

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2010/RANDMG1056.pdf  [PDF |

2.49MB]

24. Shattered Lives: Homicides, Domestic Violence and Asian Families.   San Francisco, CA:

Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence (APIIDV), 2010. 74 p.   MH11D10790

  Available online at http://www.apiidv.org/files/Homicides.DV.AsianFamilies-APIIDV-2010.pdf

[PDF | 7.52MB]

25. Social Determinants Approaches to Public Health: From Concept to Practice.   Geneva,

Switzerland: World Health Organization (WHO), 2010. 209 p.   MH11D10796

  Available online at http://www.who.int/social determinants/en/

26. Status Report on the Implementation of the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan.   Washington, D.C.

US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 2011. 21 p.   MH11D10749

  Available online at http://www.aids.gov/pdf/status-report-on-implementation-of-vhap.pdf  [PDF |

652.91KB]

27. Taking the First Steps: Experiences of Six Community/State Teams Addressing Racism’s 

Impacts on Infant Mortality : Team Profiles from the Infant Mortality and Racism Action 

Learning Collaborative, a project of the Partnership to Eliminate Disparities in Infant 

Mortality .   Omaha, NE: CityMatch, 2011. 81 p.   MH11D10780

  Available online at http://www.citymatch.org/downloads/TakingFirstStepBooklet.pdf  [PDF |

8.93MB]

28. Trends in U.S. Public Awareness of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (1999-2010): Study 

Brief.   Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health

(OMH), 2010. 9 p.   MH11D10744

  Available online at http://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/assets/pdf/checked/1/2010StudyBrief.pdf

[PDF | 112.70KB]

29. Trends in U.S. Public Awareness of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (1999-2010): 2010 

General Population Toplines.   Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

Office of Minority Health (OMH), 2010. 15 p.   MH11D10745

  Available online at http://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/assets/pdf/checked/1/HHToplines2010.pdf

[PDF | 257.47KB]

30. Violence against Asian and Pacific Islander Women.   San Francisco, CA: Asian and Pacific

Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, 2011. 2 p.   MH11D10786

  Available online at

http://www.apiidv.org/files/Violence.against.API.Women-FactSheet-APIIDV-2.2011.pdf  [PDF |

138.63KB]

Highlights of New Journal Articles Added to the Knowledge Center: 

 

1. Acculturation: State of the Science of Nursing.  Journal of Cultural Diversity, v. 18, #2 (Summer), p. 39-42, 

2011.  #31515 

Buscemi, C. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21744672

2. Addressing Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Patients: Journal of 

General Internal Medicine, v. 26, #8 (August), p. 930-933, 2011.  #31486 

Ard, K. L. Makadon, H. J. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21448753

3. Addressing Racial Healthcare Disparities: How Can We Shift the Focus from Patients to Providers?.

Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 26, #8 (August), p. 828-830, 2011.   #31482 

Burgess, D. J 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21647749

4. Affordable Care Act Reforms Could Reduce the Number of Underinsured US Adults By 70 Percent: Health 

Affairs, v. 30, #9 (September), p. 1762-1771, 2011.  #31525 

Schoen, C. Doty, M. M. Robertson, R. H. Collins, S. R. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21900668

5. The Case for Research Justice: Inclusion of Patients With Limited English Proficiency in Clinical Research.

Academic Medicine, v. 86, #3 (March), p. 389-393, 2011.  #31420 

Glickman, S. W. Ndubuizu, A. Weinfurt, K. P. Hamilton, C. D., Glickman, L. T., et al. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21248607

6. Contributors of Black Men’s Success in Admission to and Graduation from Medical School: Academic 

Medicine, v. 86, 7 (July), p. 892-900, 2011.  #31406 

Thomas, B. Manusov, E. G. Wang, A. Livingston, H. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21617511

7. Disparities in Enrollment and Use of an Electronic Patient Portal: Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 

26, #10 (October), p. 1105-1111, 2011.  #31472 

Goei, M. S. Brown, T. L. Williams, A. Hasnain-wynia, R., et al. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21509604

8. Enhancing Measurement of Primary Health Care Indicators Using an Equity Lens: An Ethnographic Study.

International Journal for Equity in Health, v. 10, #38 (September 11), 12 p., 2011.  

Wong, S. T. Browne, A. J. Varcoe, C. Lavoie, J. Smye, V., et al. #31492 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21892956

9. Health Information Technology and Disparities in Quality of Care: Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 

26, #10 (October), p. 1084-1085, 2011.  #31469 

Sequist, T. D. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21809173

10. The Meaning of Numbers in Health: Exploring Health Numeracy in a Mexican-American Population.

Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 26, #7 (July), p. 705-711, 2011. #31488 

Schapira, M. M. Fletcher, K. E. Ganschow, P. S. Walker, C. M. Tyler, B., et al. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21336671

11. Overcoming Health Literacy Barriers: A Model for Action.  Journal of Cultural Diversity, v. 18, #2 

(Summer), p. 60-67, 2011.  #31513 

Mancuso, L. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21744676


December 27, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | | Leave a comment

Health Social Media Web Sites – Advice and Tips for Creators and Others

(Quora’s About Page…including  Use boards to organize anything you read or think about)

I‘ve started this Health Social Media Web Sites board over at Quora.

Suggestions/advice welcome!

December 26, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | , | Leave a comment

Doctor Rating Web Site Health Grades is a Time Magazine “Best 50″ – How Trustworthy Is the Content??

HealthGrades Logo / Guiding Americans to their Best Health

HealthGrades has been rating doctors, dentists, and hospitals on five star scales for over ten years. Ratings include communication skills, time spent, trust, and office environment. There are also links to board sanctions.

This past August Time Magazine rated Health Grades as one of the 50 best Websites of 2011.

Recently there was a lively discussion on this topic at the medical librarian listserv (Medlib-L).
Among the responses…

  • Two people noted contact information for their doctors was not correct
  • “The self selection process creates a huge bias. The people who are angry and disappointed are the ones motivated to write.”
  • “patient rating is 4.5 stars out of 5, but he’s only had 4 patients comment on him. In skimming through other doctors in Fargo, very few have more than 4 patient comments and everyone has between 4 and 5 stars.”
  • “My doctor is in private solo practice and when you look at the lists by highlighted or popularity they are very institutionally presented. The independents come at the end of the list so this is not a fair representation”
  • “the physician she replaced upon his retirement in April 2008 is still listed (with one review), although he has been gone for almost 4 years”

Although these comments do not compromise an in depth critique of Health Grades they do raise questions about its currency, contact information correctness, and basis of comparison (basically unsolicited input from patients). It would be wise to use Health Grades in conjunction with other sources of information to make good decisions on choosing or evaluating a doctor, dentist, or hospital.

Some additional sources of information

December 26, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | , , , , | Leave a comment

News Literacy Project Trains Young People to Be Skeptical Media Consumers (and Health News Evaluation Tips)

Yesterday evening the PBS News Hour had an engaging segment on a news literacy program in several major American cities.
The students learn how to separate fact from fiction in news.

The transcript and video of this 13 December PBS News Hour item may  be found here.

Excerpt

JEFFREY BROWN: The lesson is part of an effort called the News Literacy Project, a four-year-old program now taught to middle and high school students in 21 inner-city and suburban schools in the Washington, D.C., area, New York City, and Chicago.

It was started by former Los Angeles Times investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Alan Miller.

ALAN MILLER, News Literacy Project: A century ago, Mark Twain said that a lie can get halfway around the world while truth is still putting on its shoes. In this hyperlinked information age, a lie can get all the way around the world and back while truth is still getting out of bed.

There is so much potential here for misinformation, for propaganda, for spin, all of the myriad sources that are out there. More and more of, the onus is shifting to the consumer.

JEFFREY BROWN: And a slew of recent studies supports the notion that young people seek out traditional news sources less and less and that they have a difficult time knowing how to judge the legitimacy of the information that does come at them.

 

 

Of course, I thought of some of my posts on health literacy…

 

 

 

 

 

December 14, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories | , , | Leave a comment

Bad science hunters

From the article Bad science hunters at the blog  Health Services Authors

I discover on the web many of those bad science hunters whose ultimate goal is to spread the knowledge of scientist’s misconducts, false statements and false results, methods or contents.

In their blogs they point the responsibilities of bad authors.

Retraction watch unmasks the articles retracted for a wide range of reasons.

Embargo watch describe the cases where authors had already published their data without telling it to the editor.

Abnormal science blog is a German blog (in English) dedicated to bad behaviour in science.

Rédaction Médicale et Scientifique is a French blog describing the bad habits of the medical scientific writing.

The Gary Schwitzer’s blog reveals the marketing and advertising hidden behind the appearance of science and tackles the disease mongering.

I respect highly all those persons involved for the best interest of science in a daily battle against bad science. Their disinterested independence is a shield in a world of egoism, financial and political greed and protect us against those who misrepresent scientific facts for political or financial gain.

December 13, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | , , , , | 2 Comments

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