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Archive for the ‘Non-NLM Resources’ Category

NLM Toxicology & Environmental Health Information Update: TOXMAP and TRI Data

Both versions of TOXMAP, classic and beta, now include the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) 2013 National Analysis data, as well as recent cancer and disease mortality data from NCI SEER. This is the first version of the TOXMAP beta with health data, whereas mortality data in TOXMAP classic has been updated. To view national county-level cancer and disease mortality data from 2007-2011 in TOXMAP beta, bring up the US Census & Health Data window and navigate to the Mortality tab. Two sub-tabs list cancer and disease mortality layers that can be overlaid on the map (one at a time).

TOXMAP maps the TRI chemicals reported to the EPA, as required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). A complete list of TRI chemicals required to be reported to the EPA can be found on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program website.

Keep It Simple with Micro-Surveys

A hot trend in marketing research is the micro-survey. Also known as the bite-sized survey, these questionnaires are short (about three questions) with the goal of collecting focused feedback to guide specific action. The micro-survey is a technique for overcoming what is arguably the biggest hurdle in survey assessment: Getting people to respond to your questionnaire. It is a technique that is particularly useful for populations where mobile technology use is on the rise, and where there is competition for everyone’s attention in any given moment. To better expect respondents to answer questionnaires, don’t burden them with long, matrix-like questions or require them to flip through numerous web pages. Keep things simple, or respondents will be lost before they ever get to the submit button.

The trick to micro-surveys is to keep them short, but administer multiple questionnaires over time. For example, break down a traditional membership or customer questionnaire into several micro-surveys and distribute them periodically. The length of the survey is not the only factor contributing to response rate. Follow the Dillman method, which provides time-tested guidelines for administering surveys. Also, take a look at Champagne’s Nine Principles of Embedded Assessment. His website has articles and YouTube videos on how to implement these principles. If you want to try doing a micro-survey, check out the effective practices described in this blog article from the marketing research company Instantly.

April 2015 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of a man and a woman reading the NIH News in Health newsletterCheck out the April issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Sharing Reliable Health Information: 10 Years of NIH News in Health
    You hear and read health advice all the time—from friends, online sources, radio, TV, and more. How do you know what health information you can trust? This issue marks the 10-year anniversary of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter based on research supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health—the nation’s medical research agency. Every article in this newsletter is carefully reviewed by NIH experts, so you can be confident that the health news you read here is trustworthy.
  • Readers’ Favorite Online Health Stories: Rashes, Sore Throats, Kidneys, and More
    NIH News in Health aims to bring you a wide range of health-related stories, including articles about healthy lifestyles and both common and rare diseases. Some topics are consistently popular, viewed by hundreds or thousands of people month after month on the NIH News in Health website. Here are 5 reader favorites, representing our most-viewed Web articles over the past 2 years. See if any of these topics might be useful to you or someone you know.
  • Cleaner Air Tied to Healthier Lungs in Kids
    As air quality improved in a once-smoggy region of California, lung function also improved in children during a critical period of growth and development. The findings point to the potential long-term effects of air quality on human health.
  • What Do You Know About Sarcoidosis?
    Many people with sarcoidosis don’t realize they have it. The disorder often has no signs or symptoms, or only mild ones. Sarcoidosis is a chronic (long-term) disorder that causes inflammation and lumps called granulomas in the body’s organs. The lungs are usually involved, although the condition can affect any organ, including the skin, eyes, liver, and brain.
  • Featured Website: National DNA Day
    Join the celebration of National DNA Day on Friday, April 24. The day honors 2 major achievements: the first paper describing the DNA double helix in April 1953, and the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003. This site links to classroom tips, activities, and a Pinterest challenge for K-12 teachers and students—all aimed at sparking an enthusiasm for genetics, genomics, and scientific pursuits.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

New Edition of the “Women of Color Health Data Book” Available

The NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) has announced the publication of the Women of Color Health Data Book, 4th Edition. The Women of Color Health Information Collection presents data on race/ethnicity and disease. Through data, clues about how culture, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and geographic location contribute to the health status of women of color can be identified. In order to explore sex differences, scientists need data about the similarities and differences between women and men in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions.

Learn more about women of color and their unique health needs, and how the Women of Color Health Data Book, 4th Edition, can assist clinicians in providing person-centered care for diverse populations of women. Check out the pull-out Data Book collections on breast cancer and HIV/AIDS, and a podcast from the Academy of Women’s Health. Also visit ORWH Director Dr. Janine Clayton’s blog for a commentary introducing the Data Book. More information on women’s health is available from the the NLM Women’s Health Resources website.

Community Health Status Indicators Website Launch

The CDC just released the updated Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI), an interactive online tool that provides public health profiles for all 3,143 counties in the United States. Each profile includes key indicators of health outcomes, which describes the population health status of a county and factors that have the potential to influence health outcomes, such as health care access and quality, health behaviors, social factors, and the physical environment. First issued in 2000, CHSI 2015 represents the collaboration of public health partners in the public, non-profit and research communities. The re-designed online application includes updated peer county groups, health status indicators, a summary comparison page, and U.S. Census tract data and indicators for sub-populations (age groups, sex, and race/ethnicity) to identify potential health disparities. In this new version of CHSI, all indicators are benchmarked against those of peer counties, groups of counties that are similar to each other based on 19 variables, the median of all U.S. counties, and Healthy People 2020 targets. CHSI 2015 is designed to complement other available sources of community health indicators including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. Organizations conducting community health assessments can use CHSI data to:

  • Assess community health status and identify disparities;
  • Promote a shared understanding of the wide range of factors that can influence health; and
  • Mobilize multi-sector partnerships to work together to improve population health.

To promote awareness of the new tool, the CDC and the National Library of Medicine are co-hosting two sessions of a one-hour briefing that will provide an overview of the new features and redesign of CHSI. Registration is available for either March 24, 12-1:00 PM PDT, or March 26, 8-9:00 AM PDT. Once your registration request is approved, you will receive instructions for joining the meeting.

Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

As announced in the Federal Register, the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is now available. Individuals are encouraged to submit written comments to the federal government on the Advisory Report. Written comments will be accepted online through midnight EDT on April 8, 2015.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages individuals to eat a healthful diet — one that focuses on foods and beverages that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote health, and prevent chronic disease. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly publish the Dietary Guidelines every 5 years. HHS and USDA will host a public oral comment meeting on March 24, 2015. Meeting registration is now open, and the meeting agenda is available. Please direct all media inquiries to ASHMedia@hhs.gov or call (202) 205-0143.

Registration Available for Health Literacy Conference in Irvine May 6-8

Only 1 in 10 U.S. adults are considered proficient in health literacy, or the ability to understand and use the healthcare system. Attend the Annual Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA) Health Literacy Conference, May 6-8, at the Hotel Irvine, near Orange County airport, and learn ways in which you can ensure your clients understand and have good health literacy. Register by the early bird deadline of April 10 and use Discount Code NNLM15 to save $20 off your conference tuition. Registration includes breakfast and lunch on Thursday and Friday, May 7-8, up to 21 continuing education credits, lunch on Wednesday, May 6, and more. Special preconference sessions on Wednesday include train-the-trainer sessions for health insurance enrollers to learn OERU best practices (Outreach, Enrollment, Retention and Utilization) and a consumer-facing curriculum on “Your Health Insurance – How It Works and How to Use It.”

NN/LM OERC Guide to Tools and Resources for Evaluation

Have you ever found yourself trying to do an evaluation activity, but needing that one helpful tool? Or perhaps you need a step-by-step guide on how to do a community assessment, or are looking for ways to build evaluation into a project that you are planning. The NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) has developed the online guide Tools and Resources for Evaluation to assist with program evaluation. Following are some of the types of tools and resources described in the Guide.

Community Oriented Outreach

  • Tips on successful collaborations and tools for improving collaboration with community networks.
  • Toolkits for practical participatory evaluation and processes for conducting outcome-based evaluations.

Evaluation Planning

  • Step-by-step guides on incorporating evaluation planning into your outreach projects.
  • Instructions on using logic models for program planning.

Data Collection and Analysis

  • Tips for questionnaire development.
  • Resources for statistical methods of data analysis.
  • Guides for analyzing qualitative and quantitative data.

Reporting and Visualizing

  • Help with creating popular data dashboards.
  • Descriptions of data visualization methods.
  • Tools and TED talks about how to present your data.

March 2015 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of 9 men and women of differing ages and ethnicities.Check out the March issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Be a Partner in Clinical Research: Help Others, Help Yourself
    Did you know that you can participate in clinical research? Whether you’re healthy or sick, young or old, male or female, you’re probably eligible to participate in some type of clinical study. Maybe you or a loved one has an illness, and you’d like to help scientists find a treatment or cure. If you’re healthy, you can help researchers learn more about how the body works or how sickness can be prevented.
  • Better Check Your Bowels: Screening for Colon and Rectal Cancer
    Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death nationwide. But it can usually be cured when caught early. Screening tests like colonoscopy can save lives by catching problems before symptoms even appear, when treatments might work best.
  • Are You at Risk for Alcohol-Medication Interactions?
    Many people may be both drinking alcohol and taking prescription drugs that interact with alcohol, according to an NIH-funded study. The finding highlights the need to talk with a health care professional about the risks of drinking alcohol while taking prescription medications.
  • Measles: Preventable with Vaccines
    Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. It starts with a fever, followed by a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. A rash of tiny, red spots then breaks out and spreads. Measles can be especially dangerous to children under 5 years old. It can lead to pneumonia, swelling of the brain, and even death. The good news is that measles can be prevented by getting a vaccine.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

American Evaluation Association Blog Theme: Qualitative Evaluation

The American Evaluation Association (AEA) just concluded a week-long blog theme about qualitative evaluation. Following are some highlights to consider using in your own assessment efforts:

  1. The Role of Context: the authors of this entry previously shared five high quality elements of qualitative evaluation, and this entry referenced them while emphasizing the need for evaluators to understand what role setting, relationships, and other context factors play in data as well.
  2. Purposeful Sampling: a great explanation on why to avoid convenience sampling (interviewing people because they happen to be around) and using caution with your qualitative evaluation terminology to consider not using the word ‘sampling’ due to peoples’ association of it with random probability.
  3. Interviewing People who are Challenging: establishing rapport leads to good qualitative data, but what does an interviewer do if there seems to be conflict with the interviewee? Details about how to manage your own feelings and approach with a curious mindset are very helpful!
  4. Asking Stupid Questions: this example from a bilingual HIV/AIDS training is especially insightful about the importance of clarifying sexual terms, putting aside concerns the evaluator may have about looking ‘stupid,’ and outcomes that led to deeper engagement and discussion from the group.
  5. Practical Qualitative Analysis: many helpful tips and lessons shared, including the reminder of being sure to group our participants’ responses that answer the same question together even if these replies come from different parts of the survey or interview.
  6. Providing Descriptions: sometimes there are concerns expressed that evaluation is ‘only looking at the negative,’ and by including full details about your qualitative inquiry collection and analysis as an additional resource or appendix you can help explain the steps of the process that otherwise may not be evident.