Prescription for Success:
Consumer Health Information on
the Web
Objectives
 Disease-specific information
 Drug information for consumers
 Herbal information
 Doctor finders
What do patrons mean?
What the patron said:
 Sick lick vomiting
 Vascular urethral reflux
 Dropped bladder
 Fireballs ...
Frequently Asked Questions
 Descriptions of particular procedures
 Latest treatment for ….
 “Everything” about …
 The ...
The patrons path to you
Physician
patron
friend/relative
librarian
MedlinePlus
 User friendly source
 Health information
for patients and the
public
 Quality filtered
 Credible sources
...
MedlinePlus
 Health Topics (700+)
 Drug Information
 Herbs and Supplements
 Dictionary
 Medical Encyclopedia
 Doctor...
MedlinePlus En Español
 MedlinePlus is available in Spanish
by clicking on the “español” link
 This is not a “mirror” si...
MedlinePlus.gov
Health Topics page
 Topics listed alphabetically
 Sorted in broad groups:
 Diseases or Conditions
 Body Groups
 Tests...
Health Topics page
Drug Information page
 Information on thousands of
prescription and over-the-counter
medications
 Two drug resources
Herbs and Supplements
 On the same page as the Drug info
 Information based on evidence
 Side effects and interactions ...
Medical Encyclopedia & Dictionary
 Encyclopedia includes 4,000+ entries
on diseases, tests, symptoms, injuries
and surger...
Current Health News
 Today’s Health News
 30-day News Archive
 Current News for Health Topic pages
Directories page
 Doctor/Hospital Finders
 Other Healthcare Facilities & Services
Recently added – OR-Live: Surgical
Webcasts
 Pre-recorded
webcasts of surgical
procedures by slp3D
Inc.
 Actual operatio...
Other MedlinePlus Resources
Other good health sites
American Academy of Family Practitioners
www.familydoctor.org
 Conditions A-Z
 Healthy Living
 ...
This is the best cancer website and is
sponsored by the National Cancer Institute
www.cancer.gov
2 other reliable cancer sites
 American Cancer Society
 www.cancer.org
 University of Pennsylvania’s Oncolink
 www.onc...
Association Websites
Health Associations
 DIRLINE is a directory of health
organizations, research resources and
agencies...
Professional Associations
 Provides patient information through a web
site called Medem
www.medem.com
Lab Tests Online
 You can search by disease or by the name of
the test
www.labtestsonline.org
Household Products Database
 This database contains
information about
thousands of brand name
household products and
thei...
Tox Town
Interactive guide to toxic substancesInteractive guide to toxic substances
and environmental healthand environmen...
Tox Town Neighborhoods
 City
 Farm
 Town
 US-Mexico-Border
Genetics Home Reference
 Information about genetic conditions
and genes that cause them
 Help Me Understand Genetics
Han...
How to Reach Us
Web site: http://nnlm.gov/
Phone: 1.800.338.7657
On to the exercises!!
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Prescription for Success: Consumer Health Information on the Internet

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  • Instructors introduce themselves (give them a short bio)
    Course outline and materials
    Explain teaching philosophy: I enjoy interaction; I’m hoping today we will learn a lot from each other. Please feel free to share your experiences and lets talk about it.
    How many of you are familiar with the NN/LM services? Mention funding and awards opportunities.
    Public librarians tend to be concerned about giving incorrect information or not being able to get the correct information:
    This class will help to give you confidence in providing health information
    The GMR and membership in our network will provide you with backup, if you encounter a question you cannot answer, you will have the resources to refer your patron to a health sciences librarian.
    The most important thing to remember is not to provide information based on your personal opinions or knowledge. You are not a doctor, you may need to stress this to your patron, I had an insistent patron who wanted me to decipher her blood test results, I just continued to stress that I had never attended medical school and that I was a librarian not a doctor. I made the suggestion that she contact her nurse or doctor.
  • Identify selected Web sites useful for answering consumers’ health questions, especially:
    Disease specific info
    Drug info for consumers
    Herbal info
    Doctor finders
    This class is not comprehensive, but suggests a few good sites for answering consumers’ health questions.
  • CYCLIC VOMITING: bouts or cycles of severe nausea and vomiting that last for hours or even days
    VESICOURETERAL REFLUX: Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is the abnormal flow of urine from the bladder back into the ureters.
    CYSTOCELE: occurs when the wall between a woman's bladder and her vagina weakens and lets the bladder droop into the vagina
    FIBROIDS IN THE UTERUS: (UTERINE FIBROIDS) a benign tumor especially of the uterine wall that consists of fibrous and muscular tissue
    The public librarian has a hard job…a harder job than a medical librarian in a hospital or medical center.
    Obviously the health professional knows the name of the disease or drug s/he needs information about. Consumers often do not. If they know the name of the disease or drug, they may not know the clinical term or may misspell it
    The physician’s query: I need information on the management of hypomagnesemia.
    The patient’s query: “I had diarrhea and I was in the hospital for 18 days and now I’m supposed to have transfusions. The doctor says it’s to fix my muscles and nerves. Can you look this up?”
  • Most consumers are not looking for information about wellness, but rather for information about an existing disease, condition or treatment. Most frequently asked questions are:
    Descriptions of particular procedures
    Latest treatment for…
    “Everything” about …
    The best doctor or hospital
    Drug info
    Herbal info
  • Who do consumers ask first when they need health information? They ask their family, friends, anyone in their circle who is a health professional or sort of a health professional. This can be disastrous!
    EXAMPLE:The woman who was diagnosed with fibrocystic breast disease. Her doctor suggested she cut down on caffeine. Her close friend had heard about “cystic fibrosis” and knew someone who died of it. The patron came into the library in a panic, looking for information about cystic fibrosis. Her doctor obviously didn’t know anything because he told her just to cut back on coffee.
    Over 50% of the people who come to the reference desk are asking questions not about their own condition, but someone else’s, which means the information they have is often second- or third-hand. Remember that old game of gossip?
    Remember the game of gossip when you were a kid?
  • There are so many places to go on the Internet for quality information. We are going to describe the very best websites here. These websites are all consumer-oriented, up to date and contain accurate information.
    MedlinePlus is one of the best places of many to go for basic, quality consumer health information on the Web. In most cases you can start here.
    Why is it one of the best?
    The National Library of Medicine produces it
    The information is reviewed and reliable. It links to governmental and non-profit organizations’ Web sites.
    Continually updated
    No advertising or links to commercial sites
    Minimum redundancy
    American Customer Satisfaction Index Scores, Q1 2004
    Government Web Sites: Health
    #1: MedlinePlus
    #2: MedlinePlus en español
  • MedlinePlus HealthTopics : 667
    MedlinePlus en español: 617
    Listserv subscribers: 26,966
    New math: Release 14,16,15…
    Go Local Update
    New feature - Low vision page
    Coming soon - Calculators/tools page
    MedlinePlus en español in the colonias
    NIHSeniorHealth - Tell us your exercise story
  • Let’s look at the Health Topics section.
    Class example: “I get terrible migraines. Can you tell me if there is any current information on migraines…like what causes them and how to treat them?”
    Browsing Health Topics is the preferred way to look for migraine information, especially since NLM revised the internal search algorithms in November 2002. Using the internal search interface doesn’t always retrieve the most relevant Web pages.
    The Health Topics page shows a list of disorders and conditions which are arranged:
    Alphabetically
    By body location
    By demographics, etc etc
    Searching alphabetically is the best way to browse. It is hard to determine what part of the body is involved with certain conditions. Where would one find “food allergies” or “bone spurs”?? Better to go straight to the alphabetical listing. Browse “M” down to Migraine.
    **The “Migraine” page provides links to:
    Latest News (any news articles about the topic within the last 30 days)
    Web sites from the National Institutes of Health
    General/Overview Web sites, including tutorials, if a tutorial is available.
    Alternate Therapy information (from reliable sources, of course)
    Clinical Trials (btw…does anyone know what a clinical trial is? Can you tell the class?)
    Low literacy level
    Take a minute or two to see all of the categories. Click wherever you wish so that you can see the type of information available.
    There is something called “Interactive Tutorials”. These are slideshows with sound – ideal for describing diseases and conditions, medical tests and surgeries to those with low reading levels. Patron can just listen to the information presented. There are currently 165 + Interactive Tutorials at MEDLINEplus.
    Clicking on a link from MEDLINEplus opens a new Web page; the MEDLINEplus page remains open. To return to the MEDLINEplus page, close the new page, instead of clicking on “back”.
    For similar information in Spanish, click on “Español” (the yellow box in the upper right corner of the page). Not all of the information is available in Spanish.
    The left column on the Migraine Health Topic page summarizes these links. For a pre-formulated search of Medline for professional level journal article citations, click on “Search Medline for…” The citations retrieved will be a higher level than most patrons want. We will cover Medline searching in another class.
    www.medlineplus.gov
    Health topic search
    670
    Presctip and OTC
    Images articles
    News: patron Dateline talked about…
    Directory find a doc
    Bookmark other for 800 #s
    SIGN UP FOR M+ LISTSERV
    tour
  • Health Topics: This site provides patient handouts covering over 500 health topics, some also available in Spanish. Excellent for very brief overviews and descriptions.
    Self-Care: These are flowcharts for making decisions about when to use homecare and when to see the doctor. Browse “Self Care” for “Cold and Flu” to see a flowchart.
    Kids Health: The site has a good KidsHealth section written for kids/teens and their parents. Click on the link: notice that there are 3 ways to enter the site. Let’s say we want information on acne for teens: click on the teen link. Enter “acne” in the search box or browse “Diseases and Conditions”. Thiinformation is written specifically for teens.
    Drug Information:
    familydoctor.org has an excellent drug database and you may want to consider using this instead of, or in addition to MEDLINEplus. Multum lists patient information in English and Spanish and also has information for the physician. Let’s look at this:
    search for Lopressor and compare the information with that found on the other databases (Medmaster and USP DI). By the way…you only need enter the first few letters of the drug you are searching. [suggest having a handout from Multum on Lopressor in the handout for ease of comparison]. Ask class what they think of the three handouts.
    Notice the Handout is available in Spanish.
    Notice there is also a drug interaction database. From the Lopressor monograph, click on “check interactions”.
    Are you taking any other drugs? click “yes”
    Enter the drug name
    Select “check interactions”
    Notice that the language is quite difficult…not easy for the average consumer to understand.
    e. Multum also provides limited information on herbal medicines--try black cohosh.
  • different types of cancers
    coping strategies
    alternative therapies
    statistics
    clinical trials
    support and resources and much more
    Class example: “My mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I think they called it stage IIA. What can you tell me about it? Is she going to have chemo or radiation?”
    What to do: Click on “Cancer Information”, then “Types of Cancer”. Scroll down to and click on “gynecologic cancers”
    1. “What you need to know about Cancer of the Cervix” is an excellent 30 page document about cervical cancer. It includes symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, and even questions to ask the doctor.
    Under “Treatment” are links to information from the PDQ (Physicians Data Query) comprehensive cancer database, with versions for both consumers and health professionals. Click on Cervical Cancer Treatment [for patients]. The PDQ documents include much more information than just treatment, but also an overview of the disease, symptoms, diagnosis, staging, and suggestions for finding more information. PDQ documents summarize the latest cancer treatment information, and are updated monthly.
    The Cervical Cancer Home Page also includes information on clinical trials as well as a link to the cancer literature for those who wish to find more specific information. The General Cancer Library provides the latest evidence about complementary and alternative therapies and other resources.
  • Health Associations, such as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society are great places to find consumer health information, and may provide links to local chapters of the associations. There are several ways to find the relevant association for a particular health concern:
    Search example: A patron came in looking for every disease that could be caused by asbestos exposure. Upon further discussion, we discover he is wondering if all of his health issues could be caused by asbestos. Go to DIRLINE and search “asbestos”.
    DIRLINE (dirline.nlm.nih.gov) DIRLINE is a directory of health organizations, research resources and agencies that specialize in health and biomedicine.
    Search example: A patron came in looking for every disease that could be caused by asbestos exposure. Upon further discussion, we discover he is wondering if all of his health issues could be caused by asbestos. Go to DIRLINE and search “asbestos”.
    1.Look at the entry for Asbestos Victims of America
    2.Entry includes contact information, abstract and even medical subject headings!
  • Together with leading health care partners, Medem has established the premier physician-patient communications network, designed to facilitate online access to information and care for more than 90,000 physicians, their practices and their patients, while saving patients time and money and helping physicians generate revenue.
    Professional Associations, such as the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others provide patient information. These are brought together at a site called Medem (www.medem.com)
    Use the search box in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Remember the question we had earlier on intra-uterine growth restriction? Type in IUGR in the search box
    Two results look interesting: the first is from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the second from the American Medical Association. Look at both of these to see what the information looks like.
  • Lab Tests Online (www.labtestsonline.org) This is a very good web site for information about lab tests for the consumer; it uses easy to understand language. One can search by disease or by the name of the test.
    Class example: “The doctor prescribed a lipid profile for my wife. What is he looking for?”
    Scroll down to lipid profile on the right. The results of the search describe the test, normal values and ends with common questions about the test.
    Many patrons will ask if their test results are “normal” or what the “normal” value of a test is. For many tests, there is no single reference range that applies to everyone because the tests performed may be affected by the age and sex of the patient, as well as many other considerations.
  • This database links over 6,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. The database is designed to help answer the following typical questions:
    What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands?
    Which products contain specific chemical ingredients?
    Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer?
    What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand?
    What other information is available about chemicals in the toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine?
  • An introduction to toxic chemicals and environmental health risks you might encounter in everyday life, in everyday places.
  • An introduction to toxic chemicals and environmental health risks you might encounter in everyday life, in everyday places.
  • Prescription for Success: Consumer Health Information on the Internet

    1. 1. Prescription for Success: Consumer Health Information on the Web
    2. 2. Objectives  Disease-specific information  Drug information for consumers  Herbal information  Doctor finders
    3. 3. What do patrons mean? What the patron said:  Sick lick vomiting  Vascular urethral reflux  Dropped bladder  Fireballs in the Eucharist What the patron meant:  Cyclic vomiting  Vesicoureteral reflux  Cystocele  Fibroids in the uterus
    4. 4. Frequently Asked Questions  Descriptions of particular procedures  Latest treatment for ….  “Everything” about …  The best doctor or hospital  Drug information  Herbal information
    5. 5. The patrons path to you Physician patron friend/relative librarian
    6. 6. MedlinePlus  User friendly source  Health information for patients and the public  Quality filtered  Credible sources  Links to MEDLINE searches medlineplus.gov
    7. 7. MedlinePlus  Health Topics (700+)  Drug Information  Herbs and Supplements  Dictionary  Medical Encyclopedia  Doctors/Hospital Finder  Surgical Webcasts  Health Tutorials  MEDLINE  Databases & Organizations  Health Check Tools  Publications/News  Go Local  Consumer Health Libraries
    8. 8. MedlinePlus En Español  MedlinePlus is available in Spanish by clicking on the “español” link  This is not a “mirror” site, all the materials here are responsive to the language, dietary, and cultural needs of the Hispanic population www.medlineplus.gov/spanish
    9. 9. MedlinePlus.gov
    10. 10. Health Topics page  Topics listed alphabetically  Sorted in broad groups:  Diseases or Conditions  Body Groups  Tests & Procedures
    11. 11. Health Topics page
    12. 12. Drug Information page  Information on thousands of prescription and over-the-counter medications  Two drug resources
    13. 13. Herbs and Supplements  On the same page as the Drug info  Information based on evidence  Side effects and interactions with drugs and other supplements
    14. 14. Medical Encyclopedia & Dictionary  Encyclopedia includes 4,000+ entries on diseases, tests, symptoms, injuries and surgeries, and an extensive library of photographs and illustrations.  Medical Dictionary
    15. 15. Current Health News  Today’s Health News  30-day News Archive  Current News for Health Topic pages
    16. 16. Directories page  Doctor/Hospital Finders  Other Healthcare Facilities & Services
    17. 17. Recently added – OR-Live: Surgical Webcasts  Pre-recorded webcasts of surgical procedures by slp3D Inc.  Actual operations performed at medical centers in the United States since January 2004  One-hour programs with printable transcripts
    18. 18. Other MedlinePlus Resources
    19. 19. Other good health sites American Academy of Family Practitioners www.familydoctor.org  Conditions A-Z  Healthy Living  Other links  Parents & kids  Health tools
    20. 20. This is the best cancer website and is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute www.cancer.gov
    21. 21. 2 other reliable cancer sites  American Cancer Society  www.cancer.org  University of Pennsylvania’s Oncolink  www.oncolink.org
    22. 22. Association Websites Health Associations  DIRLINE is a directory of health organizations, research resources and agencies that specialize in health and biomedicine www.dirline.nlm.nih.org
    23. 23. Professional Associations  Provides patient information through a web site called Medem www.medem.com
    24. 24. Lab Tests Online  You can search by disease or by the name of the test www.labtestsonline.org
    25. 25. Household Products Database  This database contains information about thousands of brand name household products and their potential health effects http://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/
    26. 26. Tox Town Interactive guide to toxic substancesInteractive guide to toxic substances and environmental healthand environmental health http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov
    27. 27. Tox Town Neighborhoods  City  Farm  Town  US-Mexico-Border
    28. 28. Genetics Home Reference  Information about genetic conditions and genes that cause them  Help Me Understand Genetics Handbook that walks through the steps from “what is a gene” to “the human genome project.”
    29. 29. How to Reach Us Web site: http://nnlm.gov/ Phone: 1.800.338.7657
    30. 30. On to the exercises!!

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