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:
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:
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.
To see the detailed list of attributes and examples, please visit www.iom.edu/healthlit10attributes. A PDF of the discussion paper can be downloaded here.
U.S. Medicine is a publication serving healthcare professionals working in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service. It provides a mix of news, medical updates, interviews, reports on special government topics and monthly columns. In the recently published special issue, This Year in Federal Medicine – Outlook 2012, National Library of Medicine Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, took the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate NLM’s 175 years of public service, and to look ahead to 2012 and beyond. He began by reviewing the enormous amount of electronic information generated through resources such as PubMed and MedlinePlus. He also acknowledged the role of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine in promoting access to health information throughout the U.S., and the support and training that NLM provides in the areas of biomedical informatics and health information technology. Dr. Lindberg also addressed the emerging opportunities to link NLM’s health information resources with electronic health records. Even though Dr. Lindberg expects budgetary challenges for NLM in 2012 and beyond, his outlook for the future remains very positive, as he envisions that NLM’s range of services will continue to expand into new areas of biomedical research and health care.
Specific themes mentioned by Dr. Lindberg in his future outlook include the continuing growth of NLM resources, such as PubMed/MEDLINE, PubMed Central, and ClinicalTrials.gov. In addition, several new NLM resources will be released in 2012, including a Genetic Testing Registry and a database of clinical significant human genetic variants. Dr. Lindberg also expects the continued development of NLM resources related to disaster preparedness, and he noted the recent deployment of these resources in events such as the Gulf Oil Spill, and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Dr. Lindberg also expects that NLM will continue to utilize and expand the range of social media tools, mobile applications, and mobile versions of its resources to reach new and diverse audiences with high quality health information. He mentioned the impressive array of social media currently used by NLM, including 13 Twitter feeds, notably @medlineplus and the Spanish-language version @medlineplusesp, six Facebook pages and a new YouTube channel. The full text of Dr. Lindberg’s remarks is available on the U.S. Medicine web site.