SurveyMonkey recently launched a mobile app for the iPad and iPhone, providing the ability to create, send, and monitor surveys from a phone or tablet device. The app is free, although you need a SurveyMonkey account to use it. With the new app, there’s no longer a need to rely on a computer to design and manage surveys. The app also allows convenient viewing of data from any location with Internet access. Another notable benefit is that the analytic reports are optimized for mobile devices and are easy to read on small screens. Although there is not yet an Android app, all SurveyMonkey pages and surveys are optimized for any mobile device, so surveys are easy to take regardless of the operating system used.
Archive for the ‘Communications Tools’ Category
The American Medical Association has specific recommendations for its authors about questionnaire response rates included in the JAMA Instructions for Authors. One of the guidelines is that survey studies should have sufficient response rates (generally at least 60%) and appropriate characterization of nonresponders to ensure that nonresponse bias does not threaten the validity of the findings. However, response rates to questionnaires have been declining over the past 20 years, as reported by the Pew Research Center in The Problem of Declining Response Rates. Fortunately, suggestions about increasing questionnaire response rates are available in two recent AEA365 blog posts that are open access:
- Jessica Foster on Maximizing Survey Response Rates: make the questionnaire matter and personalize your communications to the members of your sample;
- Steve Young on Making Evaluation Surveys More Appealing: make responding more fun by using meaningful graphics and new rating tools such as graphic sliders.
Additional useful advice, such as making questionnaires short, personalizing your mailings, and sending full reminder packs to nonrespondents, is included in this open access article: Sahlqvist S, et al., “Effect of questionnaire length, personalisation and reminder type on response rate to a complex postal survey: randomised controlled trial.” BMC Medical Research Methodology 2011, 11:62.
The current trend in evaluation reporting is toward fewer words and more images. There are a number of companies that offer high-quality, royalty free photographs at minimal cost. Stockfresh, for example, charges as little as $1 per image. However, no-cost is even better than low-cost. Freelancers Union, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting freelance workers, recently published a list of the best websites for no-cost images. If you are looking for free images for your presentations or reports, check out their article, which also describes the difference between public domain, royalty-free and Creative Commons-licensed images.
NCBI has released PubMed Commons, currently in pilot phase, which is a system that enables researchers to share their opinions about scientific publications. Researchers can comment on any publication indexed by PubMed, and read the comments of others. PubMed Commons is a forum for open and constructive criticism and discussion of scientific issues. It will thrive with high quality interchange from the scientific community. PubMed Commons is currently in a closed pilot testing phase, which means that only invited participants can add and view comments in PubMed.
For the current pilot testing phase there is a limited facility for joining that may work for you. Several organizations have provided lists of approved author e-mail addresses. If you are included on the list, you can request an invitation to join. Additional options for joining will be provided in future releases.
For additional information, visit the NCBI Insights blog.
The National Library of Medicine’s Specialized Information Services (SIS) Division has announced a listserv for Outreach to Specific Populations, NLM_OSP-L. This list provides health information professionals, librarians, advocates, health care professionals, students, and others with an opportunity to share information and discuss outreach to specific populations through quality information, capacity building and community engagement. This discussion forum will enable participants to stay informed about health information resources, services, and programs tailored to specific populations as well as connect with colleagues in the field, and benefit from discussions that address best practices, challenges, and gaps associated with health information outreach to specific populations.
Information distributed through the OSP Listserv (NLM_OSP-L) may include:
- Health information outreach programs and services tailored to specific populations (i.e. Students/Educators, Health Professionals, Minorities, Women, Seniors, etc.)
- Information resources addressing health topics ranging from HIV/AIDS and Environmental Health to Emergency and Disaster Preparedness
- Announcements of funding opportunities
- National, state and/or local meetings and conferences
- Information and technological resources for and about specific populations
- Training opportunities
- Best practices, trends, and new ideas
- Publications, articles, and research findings related to health information outreach
Feel free to let others know about the OSP listserv, and to share its messages!
The NLM exhibit booth at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association in Boston featured theater presentations to bring users up-to-date on several NLM products and services. The presentation recordings are captioned and accessible from the NLM Distance Education Program Resources page. The presentations include:
- (BYOD) Bring Your Own Device: NLM Apps and Social Media (19 min.)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: A New Look (20 min.)
- History of Medicine Division: Exhibitions, Programs, and Resources (17 min.)
- Implementing RDA: the NLM Perspective (25 min.)
- Managing NIH Public Access Compliance using My NCBI (25 min.)
- MedlinePlus & MedlinePlus Connect (16 min.)
- NLM Terminology Resources and Meaningful Use (22 min.)
- PubMed Central International Overview (18 min.)
- PubMed Update (24 min.)
- Resources for Health Services Research & Public Health (17 min.)
- Resources for a Multi-Cultural World (14 min.)
- What’s New @ PubMed Health (13 min.)
Note: To listen to the voice recordings and view the captions you may need the latest version of Flash® Player (download for free from the Adobe Web site). To zoom in to detailed screens, use the scroll button. For more information, go to the NLM Technical Bulletin page.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) has just announced release of the Disaster Response Template Toolkit, a new installment in the Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series. It contains a comprehensive collection of online resources and materials, as well as editable templates that can be easily tailored to meet the needs of any disaster response program.
The Printed Materials section contains customizable public education materials for use by disaster behavioral health response programs to provide outreach, psycho-education, and recovery news for disaster survivors. These materials, geared toward the general public, provide information about common disaster reactions and ways to cope. The Messaging through Other Media section contains tips for writing television, radio, and newspaper public service announcements (PSAs), as well as samples of print and radio PSAs. There are also links and examples of disaster response program websites, social networking pages, and blogs.
Within each section of this toolkit, “do it yourself” templates are provided in various formats, with space provided for each program to incorporate its own logo or contact information. You will find templates for the following products:
- Brochures for adults, older adults, or children, about common disaster responses and ways of coping;
- Door hangers with common signs of disaster stress, ways to reduce stress, and common reactions to trigger events, such as the holidays;
- Editable tip sheets with information on managing stress, coping with disaster anniversaries, and helping children cope with the disaster;
- Newsletters, wallet cards, and postcards, with broad messaging and room to add your program’s contact information.
It is hoped that the Disaster Response Template Toolkit will be a helpful resource for the disaster response programs in your institution!
NLM’s Facebook page was launched on February 16, 2010, with the initial goal of presenting lively, online health posts. The first listing was about a new exhibition opening: Within These Walls: Contraband Hospital and the African Americans Who Served There. By March 20, the NLM Facebook page had 1,000 followers. Two years later, there were 10,000. Today, NLM’s Facebook page has over 13,000 “likes” and grows by an average of about 14 new likes per day!
NLM’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) manages the NLM Facebook page, as well as NLM’s general-interest Twitter feed. Every week a team of four people, comprising the Facebook editorial group, gather for a thirty-minute discussion, that generates Facebook postings for the week. An example of potential content is a celebrity’s recent disease diagnosis. They also review a master list of annual health observances and recognition dates. The group chooses from a dozen or more listings for each month’s postings. The team then updates and responds to comments on NLM’s Facebook page. They have learned that with social media, the only constant is change, and they are constantly scanning the horizon for new content ideas!
In response to the recent torrential rains in the Phillipines, which have submerged Manila and surrounding areas, the National Library of Medicine has launched the web site, People Locator for the 2012 Philippine Floods. The Lister Hill Center, an R&D division of the National Library of Medicine, developed People Locator, a web site to post photos and name, age, etc. for missing (or found) people by hospital staff, relief workers, or family members. It can be searched by the public and by relief workers who are assisting with family reunification efforts. The site is designed to receive information through the Web, an iPhone/iPodTouch/iPad app, and from other sites such as Google Person Finder. The underlying app is ReUnite, which is available at no cost. Missing persons’ photos and identifying information can be added through any of these channels.
Google Crisis Response has also activated Google Person Finder for the floods in the Philippines, in English and Filipino. The English-language Google home page is also available. NLM’s People Locator and the Google Person Finder share information, so that missing persons are then listed in both places. Additional information about the US government response to the flooding is available from the USAID home page for the Philippines and the US Embassy in Manila. The embassy is closed until at least August 9.
What is a Health Literate Organization?
In January 2012, participants in a workgroup of the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Literacy published a discussion paper titled “Attributes of a Health Literate Organization.”
This paper describes ten attributes of a health literate organization, with examples for each attribute. Health literate organizations will make it “easier for people to navigate, understand, and use information and services to take care of their health.”
The authors underscore the importance of addressing health literacy at an organizational level, along with guidelines for various types of health care organizations. The paper concludes with a list of highly relevant resources that will be useful to anyone interested in this topic.