Skip all navigation and go to page content
NN/LM Home About PSR | Contact PSR | Feedback |Site Map | Help | Bookmark and Share

June 2014 Issue of NIH News in Health is Now Available!

Illustration of a girl blowing into a peak flow meter while sitting alongside her mother. Check out the June 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:

  • Managing Asthma: Learn To Breathe Easier
    Most people have little trouble climbing a flight of stairs or taking a brisk walk, but these simple activities can be tough for someone with asthma. Although there’s no cure, you can breathe easier by knowing how to keep the condition under control.
  • Patient’s Own Cells Helped Fight Cancer
    An experimental therapy developed at NIH used a patient’s own immune system to attack and shrink her tumors. With further research, this type of immunotherapy might be used to treat many common cancers.
  • Videos and Eye Health Resources for Kids
    Ever wonder how optical illusions work? Are you curious about colorblindness? Do you have an inquisitive mind? Curiosity is a key ingredient to becoming a scientist.
  • Featured Website: Know Stroke
    Trouble walking, weakness on one side, trouble seeing, trouble speaking. Get to know these warning signs of stroke so you can get fast medical attention, which is key to successful recovery. This site has educational videos, brochures, and other materials to help you learn more about stroke.

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!

How to Use Hashtags to Increase Social Media Presence

If you have determined that the use of social media channels is appropriate for your organization, you will quickly encounter hashtags, which are user-controlled categories prefaced with a pound sign. Hashtags were once limited to Twitter but are now used on most social media sites, including Facebook and Google+. Conversational, concise, and consistent use of up to two hashtags per social media message can result in double the amount of user engagement compared to messages without them. For more statistics specific to Twitter and user engagement, Buffer’s blog provides an excellent overview.

What are some of the ways to show that hashtags increase user engagement with your organization’s message? Look for performance indicators of reposts (the use of ‘Share’ on Facebook or retweets on Twitter), replies (comments under the message from Facebook followers, replies to the tweet from Twitter users), the number of clicks to any links included in your message (ideally to your organization’s website and resources), and hashtag usage frequency. For tips on how to track these performance indicators and additional statistics regarding hashtag creation and use, check out this helpful infographic.

AIDSinfo and infoSIDA Web Sites Now Optimized for Display on Mobile Devices!

AIDSinfo and infoSIDA on mobile devices

AIDSinfo, a service of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently updated its AIDSinfo (English) and infoSIDA (Spanish) Web sites. They are now automatically optimized for display across all devices, including desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. Visitors to the AIDSinfo and infoSIDA Web sites will now be able to access all of the content on any device they are using. AIDSinfo offers access to the latest, federally approved HIV/AIDS medical practice guidelines, HIV treatment and prevention clinical trials, and other research information for health care providers, researchers, people affected by HIV/AIDS, and the general public.

NLM decided to create a responsive design Web site, a site that automatically adjusts to any device, because of a shift in the ways that people are accessing the Internet. Between 2010 and 2014, mobile traffic to the AIDSinfo Web site increased tenfold, and almost 90% of health care providers surveyed on the AIDSinfo Web site have Internet access at the point of care, and of those, more than two-thirds use a mobile device when seeing patients. With this redesign, health care providers, researchers, people with HIV/AIDS, their family and friends, and anyone who visits the Web site will now be able to access the HIV/AIDS medical practice guidelines, drug database, fact sheets, clinical trials search, HIV/AIDS glossary, and all of the other features in an easy-to-navigate format no matter what device they are using.

If you have saved the mobile site URLs (http://m.aidsinfo.nih.gov/ and http://m.infosida.nih.gov/) as a Bookmark or Favorite on your tablet or smartphone, you will be automatically redirected to the responsive design Web site. Please send your questions or feedback about the responsive design Web site to: ContactUs@aidsinfo.nih.gov.

NIH Disaster Research Response Project Workshop June 12-13 in Bethesda

Disaster Research Response Workshop: Enabling Public Health Research During Disasters will be held June 12-13, 2014, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, MD. There is no registration cost. This workshop will examine strategies and partnerships for methodologically and ethically sound public health and medical research during future emergencies. Discussions will include issues with obtaining informed consent, obtaining approval from Institutional Review Boards, coordinating research efforts with emergency response, and ensuring timely collection of data. The workshop is a collaboration of the NIH Disaster Research Response Project, the IOM Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The NIH Disaster Research Response Project is a pilot project led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), aimed at developing ready-to-go research data collection tools and a network of trained research responders. The project’s goal is to make it as easy as possible for researchers to begin collecting health and other data following a major disaster. The focus is on data collection tools and protocols, the creation of networks of health experts also trained as research responders, and integration of the effort into federal response plans for future disasters. Although initially focused on environmental health issues, the hope is this project will be a model for timely collection of data supporting a range of medical and public health research.

As part of this project, NIEHS recently held a tabletop exercise in Long Beach, CA, to test how a “research response” might work and what would be expected of researchers choosing to be trained research responders, i.e. first on the scene to begin collecting data once it is safe and reasonable to do so. The article “Tsunami exercise helps prepare research community for disaster response” describes the exercise and there is also a video. The “Disaster Lit” section of the Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (from NLM) now includes records for research tools, such as online surveys and interview scripts, to aid researchers in quickly selecting appropriate measures.

Federal Pain Research Database Launched: Interagency Pain Research Portfolio

The Interagency Pain Research Portfolio website. Users can search the database for information about federally funded pain research projects.The Interagency Pain Research Portfolio (IPRP), a database that provides information about pain research and training activities supported by the federal government, has been launched by six federal agencies. Pain is a symptom of many disorders; chronic pain can present as a disease in of itself. The economic cost of pain is estimated to be hundreds of billions of dollars annually in lost wages and productivity.

Users of the database easily can search over 1,200 research projects in a multi-tiered system. In Tier 1, grants are organized as basic, translational (research that can be applied to diseases), or clinical research projects. In Tier 2, grants are sorted among 29 scientific topic areas related to pain, such as biobehavioral and psychosocial mechanisms, chronic overlapping conditions, and neurobiological mechanisms. The Tier 2 categories are also organized into nine research themes: pain mechanisms, basic to clinical, disparities, training and education, tools and instruments, risk factors and causes, surveillance and human trials, overlapping conditions, and use of services, treatments, and interventions.

The database was developed by NIH staff and members of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC). The IPRCC is a federal advisory committee formed to increase understanding of pain and improve treatment strategies by expanding pain research efforts and encouraging collaboration across the government. Four of the agencies that played a role in developing the IPRP are part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration. The other two agencies are the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.

NLM to Update MEDLINE/PubMed Daily!

Beginning June 2, 2014, the National Library of Medicine will add new and updated citations to PubMed seven days a week. Daily updating is a welcome enhancement to PubMed. Prior to this change, NLM updated PubMed five times a week on Tuesday through Saturday.

Likewise, new MEDLINE/PubMed update files for NLM data licensees will appear on the ftp server daily by noon ET. More than one update file may become available on the same day. The update files are available all hours seven days per week throughout the year.

For more information, visit the NLM Technical Bulletin.

Evaluating Social Media Activities

For public sector and nonprofit organizations, social media can be a cost effective way to engage with users and supporters. However, social media is not without its cost, particularly in terms of staff time. So organizations have an interest in assessing the value of their social media activities.

One great resource for social media evaluation is Paine’s book, Measure What Matters. The book contains detailed guidance for evaluating social media use by different types of organizations. A great supplement to Paine’s book is The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide, by Idealware, which has worksheets that will help plan social media strategies and implement recommendations in Measure What Matters.

Below are the key elements of Paine’s evaluation framework:

  • Begin with a solid social media plan that identifies specific goals and objectives. As with any project, you need a plan for social media that links strategies to the organizational mission and includes objectives with targets and key performance indicators. Objectives for social media in the public sector often belong in one of two categories: helping users find information they need; or building user awareness, engagement, or loyalty. (The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide provides a list of potential objectives on page 52.)
  • Define your target audience: Organizations often have many stakeholder groups, so it’s important to identify the groups most attuned to social media. On page 54 of The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide, there is a worksheet for narrowing down stakeholder audiences to those most receptive to social media activities.
  • Pick your metrics: Metrics such as views, followers, and measures of engagement with online content will help monitor your reach. Conversions, defined as the actions you want your social media followers to complete, might include becoming members of your organization or actively recommending your organization to colleagues or friends.
  • Identify a source for benchmarks. Benchmarks provide a basis for comparison to assess progress. Organizations often use their own histories as benchmarks, comparing progress against baseline measures. You also may have access to data from a competing or peer organization that you can use for comparison.
  • Pick a measurement tool: Paine’s book describes different measurement methods for evaluating social media, such as content analysis, web analytics, or surveys.

For more information, check out the resources mentioned in this blog post:

  • Katie Delahaye Paine, Measure What Matters: Online Tools For Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2011.
  • Idealware. The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide, 2013.

2014 HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Projects Solicitation Released!

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced the solicitation of proposals for the 2014 HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Projects, from organizations and libraries to design and conduct projects that will improve access to HIV/AIDS related health information for patients, the affected community, and their caregivers. Awards are offered for up to $40,000. Quotations are due to NLM on Friday, July 11, 2014!

The solicitation for the 2014 HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Projects is posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site. Small Businesses can apply to a specific set-aside. The Federal Business Opportunities Web site will also list all notices, updates, and modifications to the Solicitation.

Projects must involve one or more of the following information access categories: information retrieval; skills development, resource development; and/or equipment acquisition. Emphasis will be placed upon the following types of organizations or arrangements for developing these programs: community-based organizations (CBOs) or patient advocacy groups currently providing HIV/AIDS-related services to the affected community; public libraries serving communities in the provision of HIV/AIDS-related information and resources; health departments or other local, municipal, or state agencies working to improve public health; faith-based organizations currently providing HIV/AIDS-related services; and/or multi-type consortia of the above-listed organizations that may be in existence or formed specifically for this project.

The NLM primary point of contact for the solicitation is Elena Leon, Contract Specialist, and the secondary point of contact is Robin Hope, Contracting Officer.

MLA Theater Presentations Available!

The NLM theater presentation recordings are available from the NLM Web site and have been announced in the NLM Technical Bulletin. The Technical Bulletin article lists the topics. Besides the usual PubMed Update, there are The ACA, Hospital Community Benefit and Needs Assessment: NLM Resources and NLM Resources Used in Disasters. The recordings are also available from the NLM Distance Education Resources page.

Lori Tagawa and Kay Deeney were available for the Using the ClinicalTrials.gov Results Database presentation because the speaker hadn’t been able to attend MLA. We answered questions from the audience!

New Web Site for National Library of Medicine’s TOXMAP!

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Specialized Information Services (SIS) has released a new TOXMAP Web site. The new TOXMAP links to the beta version of the new Flash-based TOXMAP, and to the previous version of TOXMAP, renamed TOXMAP classic. It also has a refreshed FAQ, News, Glossary, and video tutorials.

TOXMAP is a National Library of Medicine website that uses maps of the United States to show locations and information of toxic chemicals released by industrial facilities and declared hazardous waste sites. The data is from the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Superfund Program. The maps can display demographic overlays such as population density, racial/ethnic groups, age groups, income data, and health data (cancer and disease mortality).