Studies Show


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Slides for presentation at BarCamp San Diego on decoding consumer health news stories and finding the "real" medical research behind them via PubMed.

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Studies Show

  1. 1. Getting from medical news stories to the real research using PubMed and more Jenny Reiswig / UCSD Biomedical Library
  2. 2. <ul><li>Sunscreen will save your life! </li></ul><ul><li>Sunscreen will kill you! </li></ul><ul><li>Coffee will give you cancer! </li></ul><ul><li>Coffee prevents cancer! </li></ul><ul><li>AAAAH! </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Personal health interests </li></ul><ul><li>Your mom who thinks you know everything </li></ul><ul><li>Settling bets with friends – PROFIT! </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Where medical research comes from </li></ul><ul><li>What to look for in medical news stories </li></ul><ul><li>Where the research lives: PubMed </li></ul><ul><li>Getting your hands on actual papers </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>I’m a librarian, not a doctor! </li></ul><ul><li>Self-diagnosis can be dangerous & scary </li></ul><ul><li>Normal isn’t interesting </li></ul><ul><li>Risk != causality. You are not a population, you are an individual living in your own unique soup of genetic & environmental factors. </li></ul>
  6. 6. CONFERENCES <ul><li>Multi-day meetings, once a year for each society. </li></ul><ul><li>Big announcements </li></ul><ul><li>Several related announcements </li></ul><ul><li>Main challenges: may be impossible to get your hands on full text </li></ul><ul><li>Where to go: the society that hosted the conference. </li></ul>JOURNAL ARTICLES <ul><li>Specific studies </li></ul><ul><li>No “calendar” – published continuously </li></ul><ul><li>Generally conclusions much less black & white than reports </li></ul><ul><li>Main challenges: pre-publication press releases, getting hands on full text </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>THOUSANDS of them </li></ul><ul><li>General journals: JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Specialty clinical journals: Annals of Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, Neurology </li></ul><ul><li>“ Research” journals: Cell, Nature Medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Most journals online now, but still follow print paradigm: volumes, issues, pages. Most not free. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Articles usually 3-15 pages long with one or more authors </li></ul><ul><li>Standard format: Problem, Methods, Results, Conclusions. </li></ul><ul><li>Written by and for researchers. Not for consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>Pre mid-90s, very hard for consumers to find this information. </li></ul>
  9. 13. <ul><li>Name of the researcher/author </li></ul><ul><li>Where they work </li></ul><ul><li>Name of a journal “in today’s issue of JAMA…” </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the most technical words in quotes </li></ul><ul><li>Look for a citation or link on the news article – usually not there, but sometimes you get lucky! </li></ul>
  10. 14. <ul><li>Remember doing lit searches in school? </li></ul><ul><li>PubMed is the lit search database for medicine. </li></ul><ul><li>FREE: your tax dollars at work </li></ul><ul><li>Millions of citations to medical journal articles </li></ul><ul><li>Only small subset is available free </li></ul><ul><li>Good news: there’s a medical library in town! </li></ul>
  11. 21. <ul><li>Be as specific as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Use medical jargon if you know it </li></ul><ul><li>Tabs are your friends: Limits, History </li></ul><ul><li>“ PMC” is an all-free subset of journal articles </li></ul><ul><li>If you find one good article, use “related articles” to find more like it </li></ul><ul><li>“ Citation” display format shows controlled subject terms, good for finding correct jargon </li></ul>
  12. 22. <ul><li>Generally NOT free online to the public </li></ul><ul><li>Search the article title “as a phrase” in Google – author may have a manuscript on their own website </li></ul><ul><li>See if we have the journal at a San Diego library: search the journal title in , </li></ul><ul><li>Write to the author for a reprint </li></ul>
  13. 23. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good for areas beyond medicine – engineering, general science </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For basic background medical information, aimed at consumers </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More in-depth than medlineplus, less in-depth than PubMed. Watch for bias! </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pill identifier tool </li></ul></ul>
  14. 24. Thank you! <ul><li>Jenny Reiswig </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: bmljenny </li></ul>