E-health reality check

Susannah Fox at Pew Internet & American Life compares two Pew reports that seem to say different things about how consumers seek health information, in part because they asked the question in different ways.

In E-Health Reality Check, she notes that the recent “Information Searches that Solve Problems” study showed that about 80% of respondents who had recently needed health information turned to a health professional, half turned to friends and family and 46% turned to the Internet.

The earlier “E-patients with a chronic disease or disability” report on the National Cancer Institute’s HINTS study stated that, while nearly half of those queried said they would turn first to a health professional, 46% who had recently looked for cancer information had looked online, compared with 11% who had actually consulted a health professional.

She suggests that all of these things may be true – that if a respondent had a serious health problem they would consult a physician, but if they were just exploring a possible health problem they might look online. She writes,

I don’t think many people dispute the e-patient trend, but it is important to remember that the internet is more often a supplement to other sources, not a replacement.


Snow day!

Blizzard conditions here in west Michigan make it a good day to catch up on blogwatching —

David Rothman is compiling a list of wikis for health librarians. He also points us to a Mayo press release touting their collaboration with Microsoft to develop consumer health products: Mayo Clinic, Microsoft Announce Strategic Agreement To Develop Consumer Health Management Tools.

The Krafty Librarian reports on the use of fantasy football to teach information literacy skills to college students in A New Slant Pattern On Teaching Information Literacy. I found her earlier commentary on a Life as a Healthcare CIO post to be right on the mark.

The New York Times posted an article for party-goers: Dip once of Dip Twice? The article points to research inspired by a Seinfeld episode, as to whether “double-dipping” a chip in a bowl of dip transfers bacteria to a communal bowl.

Becky Jerome at the Clinical Evidence, Searching Tidbits, and Other Minutiae blog brings an article from New Scientist to our attention: A Wii warm-up hones surgical skills. Researchers found some existing games more useful than others, and are planning to develop Wii software that will simulate surgical procedures.

Stephen Abrams notes that the 2008 Horizon Report is now available, in PDF, from Educause. This report predicts, for the next one to five years, “emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression within learning-focused institutions.” Very interesting reading.

Stephen also announces the first of this year’s Sirsi Dynix Institute webinars: “Twenty-five technologies to watch and how.” The live presentation will occur on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 11:00 EST. Thereafter, find it at the Sirsi Dynix Institute archive (http://www.sirsidynixinstitute.com/archive.php). I’m a podcast subscriber; I look forward to having it turn up on my iPod.

I found Four productivity-boosting Firefox extensions over at the Worker’s Edge very useful – at home.  At work, I’m still limited to Internet Explorer.

Well, that’s it for today.  Stay warm, and stay safe!

Searching for the truth online

MHSLA member Mike S. posted this on the MHSLA listserv:

This from the BBC News.
Interesting piece on Web 2.0 Technologies. Reference is to the media,
but the implications to libraries and society as a whole will be apparent.

MHSLA Research Committee Survey now online

Dear MHSLA members,

An online survey has been created in an attempt to identify the current use of Web 2.0 technologies by MHSLA members, barriers to use, and needs in applying the technologies in practice. The information gathered will be used to inform decisions on CE or other program offerings. Your input is very important. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and submit your response by Feb. 15, 2008.

To go to the survey, please click on the link at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=HpJvGPVzWSxmftzcmnoJFg_3d_3d.

If you have any question about the survey, please contact the MHSLA Research Committee.

Thank you very much for your support and participation!

Misa Mi, mmi@dmc.org
Sandy Swanson, swansose@trinity-health.org
Marie-Lise Shams, shamsml@udmercy.edu

Gray Literature

Fade Library, the library service of Liverpool Primary Care Trust, offers a blog tracking gray literature on health topics.  From their home page:

What is Grey Literature?
“Information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body.” (Luxembourg, 1997 – Expanded in New York, 2004)

Key topics of Fade Library: Bringing Information to You range from abortion to wi-fi and can be found using a dropdown box, category cloud or tag cloud.   Recent posts include information about alcohol consumption, NICE guidelines, and the Podbean podcasting service. 

OvidSP RSS feeds

A few responses to OvidSP’s RSS feature:

A medical librarian reports results in omg tuna is kewl: OvidSP and RSS feed

Juned, a blogger for A feed is born, quotes a Barbara Quint article in OvidSP and the contents of its RSS feed

Anyone else have experience to share?

Drug-Interaction Checkers

David Rothman compares several free online consumer-oriented drug-interaction checkers to see how they handle a particular contraindicated combination. Read the article: Online Drug Interaction Checkers.