The strategy lead for the National Health Service (NHS) knowledge and library services withn the NHS in England is held by Health Education England, working with 184 local NHS libraries based predominantly in hospitals
As part of the strategic framework Knowkedge for Healthcare, the objective was to increase the role NHS knowledge and library services staff play in both indirect an direct support for evidence-based information for patients and the public.
The study took an integrated multi-level approach: encouraging local staff to share their expertise through Task and Finish groups, developing tools, offering training and reviewing levers available through Health Education England's quality assurance role.
Between 2014 and 2019, the percentage of services supporting patient and public information increased from 27% to 78%. Qualitative evidence demonstrates a wide range of roles played by local services, working either indirectly or directly to ensure access to evidence-based health information for patients and the public.
The study shows the benefits of engaging people with local expertise in developing the skills and resources for system-wide change.
Similar system-wide change programmes should also consider an integrated approach, involving people, developing tools, offering training and drawing on incentive structures such as quality assurance measures. Apologies for previous errors to Background, Objectives, Methods
The majority of the US population have poor knowledge of cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV). Identifying best sources for communicating this information can guide strategies to promote HPV vaccination.
To assess the relationship between sources of health information and individuals’ knowledge of HPV-related cervical and oropharyngeal cancer.
This study conducts logistic regression on the most recent wave (2019) of the Health Information National Trends Survey. Dependent variables are indicators for self-reported awareness that HPV causes (a) cervical cancer and (b) oropharyngeal cancer. The primary indicator is a variable for different sources of health information: The Internet, professional sources, print materials, friends/family and never looked for health information.
Being female, young, non-Hispanic White and having college education is associated with higher odds of knowing about HPV-related cervical cancer. Controlling for demographic factors, individuals using professionals and the Internet are more likely to know that HPV causes cervical cancer (aOR: 2.65, 95% CI: 1.66, 4.25; aOR: 2.47, 95% CI: 1.75, 3.50, respectively) compared to those who have never looked for health information. Similar results were found for HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer.
Findings provide implications for targeted messaging through effective channels to improve HPV vaccination uptake.
Cancer patients may experience stress because of insufficient information about their illness, health condition, or treatment, but some may fear what the information reveals.
This study aims to determine health information-seeking behaviour, the attitudes of cancer patients, the barriers they face in seeking health information and their sociodemographic and disease characteristics.
A survey was conducted with 84 cancer patients in Turkey. Descriptive statistics were performed to determine the characteristics of information seeking and barriers found.
Cancer patients are likely to seek health information, often confident about finding resources easily. The main problems are as follows: (1) insufficient information from health care providers; (2) understanding medical terminology; and (3) lack of help from health care providers to explain information retrieved.
The information-seeking behaviour of cancer patients in this sample in Turkey resembles studies elsewhere, with (overall) evidence of monitoring behaviour (wanting to find out more about the disease, treatment and effects on lived experience).
The cancer patients in this survey were generally willing and confident in their information seeking to find out more about the disease, treatment and effects on lifestyle. The main barriers were medical terminology, insufficient explanations and information from healthcare providers.
In 2015, the Italian Ministry of Education in Italy launched innovative upper school educational programmes envisaging school-work initiatives. In this framework, the National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, ISS) was among the first scientific institutions to develop educational programmes with school. Involving school students in health research activities allowed health literacy improvement, acquisition of scientific communication skills and fostered student interest in science careers. This article focuses on how health literacy and health promotion can be taught to school students through taking part in this programme. It is a multi-disciplinary collaboration among different stakeholders—ISS tutors (researchers, information and communication experts), teachers and students. This collaborative initiative is a good example of ‘teaching and learning’ in action since all stakeholders could benefit from cross-fertilisation in an informal educational context.
A librarian led task force at the University of Tennessee Medical Center sought to evaluate their medical centre's health literacy attributes utilizing a widely used tool. This research ultimately led to the update of the tool.
To discuss the evaluation of health literacy attributes of health care organizations and detail the process of updating the Health Literacy Environment of Hospitals and Health Centers (HLEHHC) tool.
Subsequent to utilizing the HLEHHC, the task force was invited to assist in updating the tool. A collaborative was formed between the original author and task force. The collaborative performed an extensive literature review focused on emerging health literacy issues, reviewed each section and formulated changes.
The collaborative update process yielded an improved instrument for assessing the extent to which a health care organization accommodates low health literacy patients.
Through editing, creating new questions and rearranging the format, the HLEHHC was improved and updated.
The assessment conducted by the health literacy task force is helping shape changes in the organization. Medical librarians acted in leadership roles in the collaborative process of developing the new institutional assessment tool for health literacy (HLE2).
Library websites are important for marketing library services and providing access to electronic resources.
To determine the extent and quality of medical college (school) library websites in Pakistan, according to predetermined criteria.
A checklist of 40 items was developed from the literature on academic library website evaluation as well as observation of known best practice. The checklist was used on the 45 medical college websites that fitted initial inclusion criteria.
Of the possible 114 candidates for inclusion, 52 institution websites contained no information about the library, 17 only provided minimum details, leaving 45 medical college library websites that could be included. Library websites lack uniformity, and most of the important features as only three library websites contained more than 20 items from the checklist. The Agha Khan University Medical College, Karachi library website contained the highest (27) number of items.
The findings indicate the design of medical college library websites is generally inadequate in Pakistan. The websites are not performing a useful role in communicating with faculty and students. The findings point to inadequate website design skills among librarians or the lack of co-operation with professional website designers.
Marketing of library services and good customer relations demand improvements in the information architecture of medical college library websites as well as continued maintenance of the content to ensure that it is up to date.
This article acquaints health science librarians with digital health interventions (DHIs) and suggests ways they can become involved with initiatives in their own organisations. Examples of DHIs are provided and the risks and benefits of these applications are examined, including increasing accuracy of diagnosis & treatment, and health care efficiencies within legal and ethical frameworks. The WHO Guideline on digital interventions for health system strengthening is a useful resource which highlights ways that countries can use digital health technology to improve people's health and essential services. JM proposes the creation of a road map to assist health science librarians in becoming involved in digital health, providing practical suggestions to inform the development of action plans within your local service provision.
We examined whether the use of visual abstracts on social media platforms can improve comprehensive social media and conventional metrics such as total altmetric attention score, full text page views and citation counts (study outcomes) through retrospective cohort study.
We included all original research articles (Total 307 articles: N = 69 in visual abstract group and N = 238 in control group) published between July 2018 and January 2019 in the JAMA, BMJ and the NEJM and used negative binomial regression to adjust for article characteristics.
Adjusted analysis showed no significant differences between articles with and without visual abstracts in the altmetric attention score (p = 0.37) and in number of page views (p = 0.44). Citations in the Web of Science core collection were found to be statistically significant favouring control group (p = 0.028). We also found no significant differences in altmetric attention score and page views after stratification for article type [randomised controlled trial (RCT) vs. non-RCT]. Citations counts were found to be borderline significant for RCT (p = 0.04) and non-significant for non-RCT.
Visual abstracts might not be effective in disseminating scientific research. We should look at other innovative ways to improve the visibility of the research.
In this article, Chandrani Maitra, with her supervisor, Prof. Jennifer Rowley, reports on her PhD research conducted at Manchester Metropolitan University. This research aimed to develop understanding of the benefits of, and the challenges associated with the use of social media to disseminate eye health information in deprived communities in India. Such communities typically have a low level of access to health information, as the result of poor literacy, poverty, lack of women's empowerment, cultural practices, society dynamics, and medical malpractice. This study used an intervention based on the social media platform, WhatsApp, to educate a group of women volunteers so that they were able to contribute to the management of the eye health of their family, friends, and neighbours. Interviews were conducted with deprived community members (DCMs), community healthcare advocates (CHAs) and, healthcare professionals (HCPs). The DCMs reported a number of benefits associated with their participation in the eye health intervention. CHAs and HCPs agreed that an extended roll out of the intervention had potential to deliver benefits, but expressed concerns that some of the ongoing social challenges facing deprived communities might act as barriers to progress. F.J.
When you think about a journal you probably think of it in terms of its interactions with authors, but relations extend beyond this and are embodied in the actions and values of the editorial team and board. The Health Information and Libraries Journal editorial team and board pride themselves in the support they provide to enable and build confidence in the contributing authors, and the referees who collaborate with them by providing constructive peer review.
Health library and information professionals need continuing professional development to update their skills and knowledge. There is very limited evidence on the training needs of medical librarians in Nigeria.
To identify the training needs of medical librarians in Nigeria, principally the content topics required, preferred formats of training, and barriers to training.
An online questionnaire was distributed to 94 registered members of the Medical Library Association of Nigeria.
The majority of the 64 medical librarian respondents wanted training in information systems and technology usage. The respondents also indicated that they prefer participating in seminar/workshops and being involved in face-to-face courses. Very few of the respondents have attended any specialist training aimed at their work in the medical field. The foremost challenge identified is the high cost of training.
This study confirmed that the librarianship degree acquired from library schools only serves as a foundation for medical librarians, and it does not provide the specific subject training required to work successfully as medical librarians.
There is a gap in knowledge base of medical librarians in Nigeria that needs to be filled by specific on-the-job training and courses which are affordable.
Patient-centred e-health (PCEH) focusses on the interaction between patients and physicians. However, only a limited number of studies have focussed on the design of physician–patient value cocreation mechanisms in the PCEH context. Thus, we extend Grönroos’ concept of value cocreation to understand how PCEH might improve the quality of care.
This study proposes a theoretical framework to embody PCEH-supported value cocreation and presents some empirical validation. We expect that PCEH-supported value cocreation should comprise capabilities for patient empowerment, intention for information sharing, complementation for checking and verifying information, and interaction for shared understanding.
This study surveyed a small group of patients that have used PCEH, ‘My Health Bank’ in Taiwan. The questionnaires were delivered to patients in hospitals (n = 167 questionnaires, 98% response rate).
Results indicate that certain PCEH-supported value cocreation mechanisms—capabilities for patient empowerment and interaction for shared understanding—affect the perceived quality of medical care.
The survey only considered patient perceptions of value cocreation.
This study shows the patient perception of value cocreation in patient-centred e-Health. Further research needs to validate the framework for health professionals and in other e-Health record information sharing settings.
The increasing incidence of cancer among young adults (18–40 years old) is of concern in China.
This study aims to examine the influence of cancer information-seeking behaviours (CISB) on young adults’ worries about cancer and participation in screening.
This study analysed data from two probability sample surveys conducted in 2012 and 2017 in China. The questions in the questionnaire remained the same for better comparison. The sample size was 1212 in the 2012 survey, and 2178 in the 2017 survey.
From 2012 to 2017, among young adults, there was a decline in cancer information seeking, diversity of cancer information sought and cancer worry, while an improvement in cancer information-seeking experience was found. Also, CISB had significant associations with cancer worry and health screening over the 5 years.
The level of young adults’ cancer information seeking remains low in China, and this group is not fully aware of their potential risks of getting cancer.
Although young adults find the experience of looking for cancer information easier in 2017, health campaigns may be necessary to encourage young adults to find out more about their cancer risks, and to participate more in health screening.
Health literacy is key to person-centred, preventative healthcare and is both a societal and individual responsibility. This feature describes work undertaken by Health Education England, the Community Health and Learning Foundation and NHS Library and Knowledge Services to raise awareness among NHS staff and other key partners of the impact of low health literacy. It highlights a range of health literacy resources and ideas for developing and adapting these tools for remote delivery during and post-pandemic.
Facebook is a frequently used social media platform and is often used for human health information, yet little research has been conducted on how pet owners use Facebook pet groups to obtain and share pet health information.
This study was designed to assess how pet owners use dog and cat Facebook groups to provide and receive pet health advice and their perception of these groups' trustworthiness. Two comparable questionnaires (dog and cat owners) were developed and distributed through an online survey platform.
Results suggest that Facebook groups are a common source of pet health information, with 56.2% of dog owners and 51.8% of cat owners reporting receiving health information through Facebook groups. Similar numbers report giving health information through Facebook groups: 55.0% of dog owners and 57.9% of cat owners. Dog health information most commonly exchanged related to dermatology, gastroenterology and orthopaedics and the most common cat health information focused on gastroenterology, renal and urinary-related issues. While the majority of Facebook users report feeling that Facebook groups are not a trustworthy source of pet health information, a substantial minority of users do appear to be influenced by these groups.
Approximately 50% of cat and dog owning respondents either give or receive pet health advice through Facebook groups. These results suggest that many owners deem Facebook groups as useful, but not entirely trustworthy, sources of information.
Understanding the health information needs of adolescents is the first step towards providing them with relevant information to aid them in their decision making regarding health issues.
The goal of this study is to assess adolescents’ needs, perceptions and sources of health information.
Four hundred sixty-nine high school students in Osijek, Croatia, participated in this study by answering a questionnaire. The collected data were analysed using basic frequency and non-parametric statistical methods.
The most popular health topics identified by adolescents in our study were nutrition, diseases, depression, relationships, sexual intercourse and alcohol. Adolescents consider their parents the most reliable personal source of health information (72.0%), while they perceive the Internet as the main non-personal source of health information (29.8%). Adolescents wish to get more education about health issues at school (54.4%). Significant gender differences were found in adolescents’ needs, perceptions and sources of health information.
It is important to provide adolescents with systematic institutional health education and improve health advisory services and library/information services to assist adolescents in locating health information and resolving their health related questions.
Evidence-based practice requires health professionals to recognise situations of uncertainty in their practice, translate that uncertainty into answerable questions, and find and appraise information relevant to those questions. No research to date has explored the research-based information needs of allied health professionals (AHPs) in regional and rural Australia.
To examine the information-seeking experiences and needs of AHPs in regional and rural Australia.
A total of 80 AHPs, predominantly occupational therapists and physiotherapists, practising in regional and rural areas of Australia completed an online survey.
Almost all respondents reported having questions requiring research evidence, but most of their questions were worded non-specifically. Respondents practising in rural areas had greater perceived difficulty in obtaining relevant evidence than their regional counterparts. Many respondents reported wanting additional support to find relevant research evidence.
The findings offer insights regarding information-seeking challenges AHPs face and potential solutions, including improved training and increased health librarian support. However, due to sampling limitations, the results cannot be generalised to all allied health professions.
Allied health professionals may require more training and support to engage in efficient and effective information-seeking behaviours. Health librarians have a valuable role to play in providing this training and support.
Indications on the development of the health library and knowledge workforce (LKS) in England suggest that more staff may need to shift into clinical librarian (CL) roles. Anecdotal evidence suggested that CL roles have changed recently.
To examine perceptions of CL tasks and required personal characteristics of CLs, amongst both practising CLs and other LKS staff in England.
An online survey was followed by descriptive statistical and content analysis to identify any differences in perceptions between the CL and non-CL staff groups.
Response rate: 10% (123/1181). Both staff groups identified literature searching as the top core task and agreed on the main CL roles. Perceptions on the necessary personal characteristics were also similar. Ranking differed for a few tasks: non-CL staff may ascribe more importance to some tasks (evidence synthesis, critical appraisal training and attending ward rounds/team meetings) than the CL staff state. CLs spent more time on staff management, and less time on study skills training than non-CL staff perceived.
Results indicated that CL roles are continuing to develop, but that CLs are more integrated into library administration than some non-CL staff believe.
Shared perceptions around CL roles should help workforce development.
Knowledge synthesis (KS) reviews rely on good quality literature searches to capture a complete set of relevant studies, and peer review of the search strategy is one quality control mechanism that contributes to better quality reviews. Guidelines for peer review of electronic search strategies (PRESS) have been available since 2008.
This overview provides a snapshot of KS indexed in Scopus, published between 2009 and 2018, that reported peer review of the literature search strategy.
Articles were identified through citation chasing for PRESS guidance documents and supplementary keyword searches. The characteristics of individual articles and the journals that published them were documented, and descriptive statistics were compiled.
415 articles from 169 journals met inclusion criteria. Approximately half were published in 14 journal titles. Most reviews reported the involvement of an information professional, but PRESS reviewers were rarely acknowledged. An overwhelming majority of review teams were based in Canada.
Reported use of PRESS was low during the period examined, but under-reporting may be a factor. Investigation of the barriers and facilitators of PRESS adoption is needed.
Despite its value, adoption of PRESS appears low. Advocacy for, and education about, PRESS may be required.
Evidence-based practice (EBP) requires integration of research evidence with clinical expertise and patient preferences. It is endorsed by many regulatory bodies, using the approach is challenging for many busy clinicians.
To explore mental health practitioners’ perceptions of the factors which help, and which hinder, EBP and their views of two formats for presenting research findings – a systematic review and a one-page summary of that review. (written by a clinical librarian)
Qualitative semi-structured interviews with a multi-professional sample of mental health clinicians. (n=7)
Participants worked under varying time constraints, with some participants perceiving a conflict between research activities such as reading the evidence and their clinical duties one-page research summary would help some participienrs to identify potentially valuable evidence quickly. However, participants agreed that they would need to read full systematic review to assess whether and how their practice could or should change.
A one-page research summary can perform useful functions for clinicians; however, they require more detailed research reports such as systematic reviews to judge research's external validity.
This exploratory study indicates that writing evidence summaries is a useful role for clinical librarians, as part of training and support for EBP.
This dissertation study investigates the ways that NHS libraries are currently marketing their services within their organisation and was submitted as part of the MA Library and Information Management at the University of Sheffield in 2019. This paper presents the findings from twelve semi-structured interviews carried out with NHS library managers in the East of England to identify the most and least successful methods, and in comparison with that which is currently in the general marketing literature. The study found that outreach marketing was the most effective and that librarians are currently conducting marketing to the best of their ability, but they lack time and funding to be able to make the most of their promotional campaigns.
Michael Cook looks at the role of an embedded Public Health Information Specialist highlighting the ways the core evidence, information and knowledge skills are used to progress Public Health activity in local government settings. Acknowledging the current pandemic, he explores how COVID-19 has dominated all aspects of health and social care, and outlines how evidence services have work within these complex Public Health systems to lead the local response and recovery efforts.