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RML Blogs

Four-Part NNLM Substance Use Disorders Webinar Series Begins August 3!

PSR News - Thu, 2017-07-20 19:30

Registration is available for a series of four one-hour webinars on topics related to substance use disorders, beginning August 3, 10:00-11:00 AM PDT, with Misperceptions and the Misused Language of Addiction: Words Matter. Additional sessions will be held on September 27, October 5, and January 9, 2018. Each webinar has a specific focus within the substance use disorder field. The format of each webinar will be a presentation from a medical or a speaker who is a community professional currently working to help people with substance-use disorders. The goal of the sessions is to provide a professional perspective that combines research and/or evidence-based information along with personal experience to further understanding about topics that are timely relating the opioid health crisis. The presenters will share their personal experiences and what they have learned by being involved on the front lines of addiction and treatment.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Three Upcoming Webinars on Health Outreach for Special Populations

PSR News - Thu, 2017-07-20 19:09

Are you interested in webinars providing continuing education about health information outreach to special populations? Check out the Conferences and Meeting page from PHPartners.org or the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) calendar for upcoming classes and webinars to improve outreach to special populations, like these three sessions in July and August:

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

New NNLM Class on Numeracy Literacy Coming August 15!

PSR News - Thu, 2017-07-20 19:01

Registration is available for a new 1.5 hour NNLM class on numeracy literacy, Making Sense of Numbers: Understanding Risks and Benefits. Learning How to Communicate Health Statistics </em, on August 15, 11:30am-1:00pm PDT. This class is a basic introduction for anyone who wants to understand how to communicate health information that involves numeracy. The purpose of this class is to understand risk and benefits from a layman’s perspective and to understand that the communication of numbers must be clear and easy to understand. Participants will also be introduced to several tools that will help in the development of educational materials. The target audience is anyone providing health information to the general public, including healthcare instructors, public and medical librarians, and patient educators.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NNLM Member Certificates Have Arrived!

MCR News - Thu, 2017-07-20 18:48

The NNLM membership certificates, suitable for framing, have arrived in the RML office in Salt Lake City and we will sending those in the mail in the near future.  Our staff is working to process them and we will alert members when they have been mailed.  The certificates will be mailed only to those who renewed their NNLM memberships.

If your institution did not yet renew, there is still time.  You will just need to take less than 10 minutes to fill out a form online.  Please click HERE to start that process. After you do that, we will send a membership certificate in the mail.

Not sure if you renewed your NNLM membership? We can help.  You may contact Jim Honour, the MCR Member Services Coordinator, or the NNLM Coordinator in your state .

Please contact us if you’ve any questions about your institution’s membership status.

[jh]

Categories: RML Blogs

ERuDIte – Educational Resource Discovery Index/BD2K Training Coordinating Center

MCR News - Thu, 2017-07-20 10:27

ERuDIte is the educational resource discovery index that supports biomedical researchers, a service of the BD2K Training Coordinating Center (TCC) Web Portal. ERuDIte functions to:

  1. Identify, store and synthesize large volumes of relevant educational resources in a scalable fashion
  2. Maintain a schema that aligns with other resource collection initiatives to promote data sharing
  3. Serve high-quality, up-to-date educational content to the biomedical community (and research community at large) that not only teaches Data Science concepts but also supports the practical application of such concepts into specific analysis tasks
  4. Aid learners in navigating the vast number of resources pertaining to Data Science through semi-automatic tagging and prerequisite identification
  5. Provide an individualized learning path through recommendations tailored to learners’ interests, experience, and progress over time

Learn more about ERuDIte

 

Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM Webinar Series: Substance Use Disorders: Alleviating Stigma, Treatment Strategies, Community Resources & Stories from the Front Lines

SEA News - Thu, 2017-07-20 10:01

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region is please to announce a new webinar series, Substance Use Disorders Webinar Series: Alleviating Stigma, Treatment Strategies, Community Resources & Stories from the Front Lines.

You are invited to attend all 4 webinars, or only the webinars that you are interested in. Each webinar has a specific focus within the substance use disorder field. The format of each webinar will be a presentation from a professional(s) currently working to help people who have substance-use disorders. Through each webinar, it is our goal to provide a professional perspective that combines research and/or evidence-based information along with personal experience to further understanding about topics that are timely relating the opioid health crisis.

The presenters will share what they have learned by being involved on the front lines of addiction and treatment.

To see the objectives of each session and to register, please visit the class page for details: https://nnlm.gov/classes/substance-use-disorders-webinar-series-alleviating-stigma-treatment-strategies-community. Please note that you will have to register for each session individually. 

Misperceptions and the Misused Language of Addiction: Words Matter

August 3, 2017 1-2PM ET

Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM, Boston University School of Public Health

Despite recognition of addiction as a health condition, terminology used in both layperson and scientific publications is often inaccurate and stigmatizing. National and international efforts are now afoot to encourage the use of terminology that can improve accuracy, reduce stigma, and even improve care. Dr. Richard Saitz from the Boston University School of Public Health will discuss the rationale for terms that should and should not be preferred.

Learn how terminology can improve accuracy, reduce stigma, and even improve patient care.

Connecting Resources to a Community in Need: Worcester Police Addiction Recovery (WPAR) Program

September 27, 2017 1-2PM ET

Officer Patricia Joy Cummings, Worcester, MA Police Department Crisis Intervention Team and WPAR Program 

Rebecca Zwicker, WPAR Program Coordinator, Recovery Coach Supervisor

Learn how to recognize the signs of substance use that are often overlooked. Communities often have resources available to help those with substance use disorder, as well as help for their families. Because of the stigma this disease carries, many people do not talk about their struggles or how they found help.  A city police officer and a recovery coach from the city of Worcester will share the program they have developed to help those in need to find the pathway to recovery. Learn what you can do to alleviate the stigma associated with this disease.

Harm Reduction, Medication Assisted Treatment, and Considering Comorbid Disorders When Deciding Treatment

October 5, 2017 1-2PM ET

Amy Harrington, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts, Medical Director for Acute Addiction Continuum, Community Healthlink, Worcester, MA

Harm reduction is a public health strategy that was developed initially for adults with substance use disorder for whom abstinence was not feasible. Harm reduction approaches have been effective in reducing morbidity and mortality in some adult populations. Learn the specifics of what the term “harm reduction” means as it is applied in various settings. When a treatment plan is considered for a patient, it is important to understand if other medical conditions also exist in addition to the substance use disorder. How do comorbid conditions affect treatment for substance use disorder? Understand why a “one size fits all”  treatment strategy may not be successful.

Individualized Treatment and Understanding the Non-pharmacologic Components that are Part of Recovery 

January 9, 2017 10-11AM ET

Dr. Gerardo Gonzalez, MD, Director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry and Associate Professor in Psychiatry, Medical Director, Washburn House, Worcester, MA
Lindsey Silva, RN, MSN, Director of Quality and Compliance, Washburn House, Worcester, MA 

Learn about the non-pharmacologic components of recovery. When developing individualized treatment plans, what factors are considered? The Medical Director and the Director of Quality and Compliance for Washburn House, a new treatment facility in Worcester, Massachusetts, will share their stories of starting a new treatment facility, and the challenges of putting evidence-based practices into practical use.

Categories: RML Blogs

Substance Use Disorders Webinar Series

MAR News - Thu, 2017-07-20 09:59

Register today for this 4-part webinar series, sponsored by NER! Participants may attend any or all sessions in the series. Each webinar has a specific focus within the substance use disorder field, and will provide a professional perspective that combines research and/or evidence-based information, along with personal experience to further understanding of the opioid health crisis. Presenters will share what they have learned by being involved on the front lines of addiction and treatment.

Participants may be eligible for MLA CE, pending course approval. Registration is required.

Misperceptions and the Misused Language of Addiction: Words Matter
August 3, 2017 1:00-2:00 PM ET
Details and Registration

Despite recognition of addiction as a health condition, terminology used in both layperson and scientific publications is often inaccurate and stigmatizing. National and international efforts are now afoot to encourage the use of terminology that can improve accuracy, reduce stigma, and even improve care. Dr. Richard Saitz from the Boston University School of Public Health will discuss the rationale for terms that should and should not be preferred. Learn how terminology can improve accuracy, reduce stigma, and even improve patient care.

Connecting Resources to a Community in Need: Worcester Police Addiction Recovery (WPAR) Program
September 27, 2017 1:00-2:00 PM ET
Details and Registration

Learn how to recognize the signs of substance use that are often overlooked. Communities often have resources available to help those with substance use disorder, as well as help for their families. Because of the stigma this disease carries, many people do not talk about their struggles or how they found help.  A city police officer and a recovery coach from the city of Worcester will share the program they have developed to help those in need to find the pathway to recovery. Learn what you can do to alleviate the stigma associated with this disease.

Harm Reduction, Medication Assisted Treatment, and Considering Comorbid Disorders When Deciding Treatment
October 5, 2017 1:00-2:00 PM ET
Details and Registration

Harm reduction is a public health strategy that was developed initially for adults with substance use disorder for whom abstinence was not feasible. Harm reduction approaches have been effective in reducing morbidity and mortality in some adult populations. Learn the specifics of what the term “harm reduction” means as it is applied in various settings. When a treatment plan is considered for a patient, it is important to understand if other medical conditions also exist in addition to the substance use disorder. How do comorbid conditions affect treatment for substance use disorder? Understand why a “one size fits all”  treatment strategy may not be successful.

Individualized Treatment and Understanding the Non-pharmacologic Components that are Part of Recovery
January 9, 2018 10:00-11:00 AM ET
Details and Registration

Learn about the non-pharmacologic components of recovery. When developing individualized treatment plans, what factors are considered? The Medical Director and the Director of Quality and Compliance for Washburn House, a new treatment facility in Worcester, Massachusetts, will share their stories of starting a new treatment facility, and the challenges of putting evidence-based practices into practical use.

Categories: RML Blogs

Webinar Announcement: Making Sense of Numbers: Understanding Risks and Benefits and Learning How to Communicate Health Statistics

SEA News - Thu, 2017-07-20 09:31

Making Sense of Numbers: Understanding Risks and Benefits and Learning How to Communicate Health Statistics

Date/Time: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 1:00 PM – 2:30 PT/4:00 PM – 5:30 ET

Did you know that most parents unwittingly give their kids the wrong dose of liquid medication?  Did you know that health numeracy is not the same as health literacy, and has significant impact on people’s health status and care experiences?

Abstract
Numeracy literacy is not only a problem for individuals receiving health information but also for those providing information that contain numbers. This class is a basic introduction for anyone who wants to understand how to communicate health information that involves numeracy. The purpose of this class is to understand risk and benefits from a layman’s perspective and to understand that the communication of numbers must be clear and easy to understand. In this 1.5 hour class, participants will also be introduced to several tools that will help in the development of educational materials. Audience is anyone providing health information to the general public, including healthcare instructors, public and medical librarians, patient educators.

Objectives
Participants will be able to:

To understand their role in risk communication and health numeracy
To understand risk and benefit statistics from a layman’s perspective
To understand that the communication of numbers must be clear and easy to understand
To understand that numeracy is a key component of health literacy and shared decision making in managing one’s health

To register, please visit: https://nnlm.gov/class/making-sense-numbers-understanding-risks-and-benefits-and-learning-how-communicate-health 

For questions, please contact the instructor Ann Glusker at glusker@uw.edu.

Categories: RML Blogs

Antidepressants Taken During Pregnancy Don’t Harm the Baby

SCR News - Thu, 2017-07-20 00:57

Untitled by Carlo Navarro is licensed under CC0.

New research suggests antidepressants taken during pregnancy don’t harm the baby. For women battling with depression, this decision to continue taking antidepressants while pregnant no longer has to be such a difficult one.

The study, which was conducted in Sweden, found little risk of intellectual disability in children whose mothers had taken antidepressants while pregnant.

“It is imperative that women who are living with depression remain appropriately and effectively treated during pregnancy,” said Dr. Ruth Milanaik, who reviewed the new findings, and is directs the Neonatal Neurodevelopmental Follow-Up Program at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

For women who took antidepressants, the risk of their child having an intellectual disability was heightened only by 0.4 percent, which is not significant enough to warrant concern.

To read more about the study, please visit “No Sign That Antidepressants in Pregnancy Harm Kids’ Brains: Study.”

Like NNLM SCR on Facebook and like us on Twitter.

Categories: RML Blogs

Savoring the Harvest Beyond the Season, Food Preservation

PNR News - Wed, 2017-07-19 10:16

jars of soon to be pickles

Summer is the time of an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables when they are at their best. Whether you grow your own or purchase from a local farmers market you know there is nothing better than eating a fresh tomato or recently picked cucumbers. It would be wonderful to have it fresh all year around but for many of us these summer time fruits and vegetables can only be enjoyed through food preservation. Home preserved foods are often healthier and tastier than those bought in the grocery store. It can also be cheaper and is a great skill to have.

But not all of us have had the privilege of growing up with a garden and gaining the skills of canning, freezing, drying and other food preservation methods. Check out these online resources.

Many of the state Extension Service also provide resources and classes to learn how to preserve food.

Categories: RML Blogs

Call for Applications: NLM/Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) Leadership Fellows Program, 2017-2018

MCR News - Tue, 2017-07-18 19:28

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 year of the leadership program jointly sponsored with the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL). The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program is focused on preparing emerging leaders for the position of library director in academic health sciences libraries. The application deadline is July 28, 2017. /ch

Categories: RML Blogs

NIH/NLM Resources for Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

PSR News - Tue, 2017-07-18 14:15

The American College of Rheumatology estimates that about 300,000 children in the US have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, a condition that causes joint swelling, pain, stiffness, and loss of motion. July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, and health professionals can find a number of resources from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to share with families who have children affected by this painful condition:

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Resources for Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

MAR News - Tue, 2017-07-18 11:51

From the Outreach and Special Populations division:

The American College of Rheumatology estimates that around 300,000 children in the US have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, a condition that causes joint swelling, pain, stiffness, and loss of motion. July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, and public health professionals can find a number of resources from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to share with families who have children affected by this painful condition:

Categories: RML Blogs

Painkiller Misuse Second Most Common Illegal Drug Problem

SCR News - Tue, 2017-07-18 00:42

Untitled by frolicsomepl is licensed under CC0.

The opioid epidemic has taken center stage in both 2016 and 2017. In November, the Surgeon General released a landmark report regarding addiction in America, and a new study finds that abuse of prescription opioids is the second most common illegal drug problem in the U.S.–second only to marijuana.

The data from 2012-2014 showed that 4 percent of people aged 12 and older had reported nonmedical use of prescription in pain relievers. It was most common in several states, including two in the SCR region: Arkansas and Oklahoma, with rates exceeding 5 percent. None of SCR states were in the list with the lowest rates.

Although the problem is still large in the grand scheme of things, the nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers did fall nationally and in 13 states. But there’s no quick fix; it will take years to fully overcome the opioid epidemic.

To read more about the study, please visit “Painkiller Misuse Remains a Pressing Problem Across U.S.”

Like NNLM SCR on Facebook and like us on Twitter.

Categories: RML Blogs

DOCLINE Quarterly & Yearly Statistical Reports Now Available!

PSR News - Mon, 2017-07-17 13:11

NLM has released the following DOCLINE quarterly statistical reports for April-June 2017. It’s important to note that request reports are not archived and should be saved quarterly by libraries who wish to have a historical record of statistics. The reports include:

  • Summary DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Reports 1-1A, 1-11A, 1-1AT)
  • Summary DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-1B)
  • Detailed DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Reports 1-2A, 1-22A)
  • Detailed DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-2B)
  • Resource Library Quarterly Report – Fill Rate (Report 2-14)
  • Loansome Doc Detailed Lender Statistics (Report 5-1A)
  • Loansome Doc Summary Statistics Report (Report 5-1B)

NLM has also released the following DOCLINE yearly statistical reports for July 2016-June 2017:

  • Ranked List of Serial Titles – Borrower (Report 1-8A)
  • Ranked List of Serial Titles – Lender (Report 1-8C)

Please note: Reports 1-11A, 1-1AT, and 1-22A are only distributed to libraries that have entered requests in DOCLINE for other libraries.

DOCLINE statistical reports are available by going to Requests, then Reports in the DOCLINE menu. Instructions for downloading and printing reports may be found in the “Request Reports” section of the online User Guide or in the NLM Customer Support Knowledgebase.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Register for the upcoming Teaching Topics Webinar on August 10

NTO News - Mon, 2017-07-17 10:58

NTO’s August Teaching Topics webinar features five ways librarians teach PubMed. From flipped classrooms to search visualizations, you’ll hear a range of ideas. A full list of presentation topics is available on the registration page. 

Teaching Topics: Successes, Flops, and Far-Out ideas

Thursday, August 10, 2017

2:30 – 3:30 PM ET

1 MLA CE credit hour

REGISTER:  https://nnlm.gov/class/teaching-topics-successes-flops-and-far-out-ideas/7656

More information on our Teaching Topics webinars

 

Categories: RML Blogs

EvidenceNOW: Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care

MAR News - Mon, 2017-07-17 09:00

Join the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for a webinar to explore how practice facilitators can help primary care practices become learning health care systems—organizations that systematically collect, analyze, and use evidence to improve care. Join speaker Lyndee Knox, PhD, and practice facilitation leaders from EvidenceNOW as they share experiences and insights about how to foster a culture of learning and quality improvement in small- and medium-sized primary care practices.

Creating a Learning Health Care System: The Role of Practice Facilitators in Primary Care
Wednesday, August 2, 12:00-1:00 PM ET
Registration is required.

What is EvidenceNOW?  EvidenceNOW is an AHRQ grant initiative dedicated to helping small- and medium-sized primary care practices across the country use the latest evidence to improve the heart health of millions of Americans. This initiative aligns with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts®, a national effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Categories: RML Blogs

Webinar: Teaching Topics: Successes, Flops, and Far-Out ideas

SEA News - Mon, 2017-07-17 08:40

Teaching Topics: Successes, Flops, and Far-Out ideas

  • Thursday, August 10, 2017
  • 2:30 – 3:30 PM ET
  • 1 MLA CE credit hour

This one-hour session profiles five teaching projects from health science libraries across the United States. Presentations include:

  1. How to use MeSH subsets for integrative medicine searches – Q. Eileen Wafford, Fienberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
  2. PubMed & Gene – Michelle Price, Outreach and Special Collections Librarian, Lavery Library, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY
  3. Flipping Out for Three Years: Data from Year One Medical Student PubMed Flipped Classroom Curriculum, Jennifer Dinalo, PhD, MLIS, Information Services Librarian (Norris Medical Library University of Southern California) & Lynn Kysh, MLIS, Clinical & Research Librarian (Norris Medical Library & Children’s Hospital Los Angeles), Los Angeles, CA
  4. PubMed Training of Medicine and Pharmacy Students – Heather McEwen, MLIS, MS, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, OH & Rienne Schinner, MLIS
  5. PubMed by the Pics: Teaching how to search the easy way – Margaret Vugrin, MSLS, AHIP, MPH, Reference Librarian, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Library, Lubbock, TX

REGISTER:  https://nnlm.gov/class/teaching-topics-successes-flops-and-far-out-ideas/7656

Categories: RML Blogs

Your NIH SeniorHealth Questions Answered

NER News - Mon, 2017-07-17 08:39

Stephanie Dailey from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and Brooke Dine from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) recently developed the following responses to the questions submitted by the NNLM Network about NIHSeniorHealth’s retirement on August 1:

  1. For Senior-related consumer health topics, what resource would NLM recommend?
    NLM and NIA are recommending these resources:
    MedlinePlus: Exercise for SeniorsNutrition for Seniors, and Seniors’ Health.
    NIA: Health and Aging section of the Go4Life web site. The Health and Aging section is being redesigned and will be released at the end of July.
    Information from any information center at NIH related to the specific health condition or disease.
  2. Will the information, quizzes, videos, and other “value-added” pieces be included in another resource, like MedlinePlus? I’m thinking of a topic like Breast Cancer, which has a module for risk factors that is simple and easy to read. Links on the MedlinePlus Breast Cancer topic page seem to go to both patient and provider resources. The only way to know is to click on the numerous links on the page and I’m not sure that seniors will be willing to keep clicking on links until they find one that works.
    NIA/NLM Response
    The site will be retired and the information will not be transferred to another site. The videos will still be available via the NIHSeniorHealth YouTube Channel. Any of the NIH-related resources from related Information Centers such as Cancer.gov include the “NIH” logo next to the link. NIH is committed to plain-language and the NIH-related resources reflect that principle.

  3. What’s going to happen with the Training Toolkit? Public librarians seem to really take to this as it helps them develop any kind of internet/online training for seniors. If there are no plans to continue access to it, several NNLM Coordinators would be willing to take it on and update it as needed.
    NIA/NLM Response
    NNLM Coordinators are welcome to use this model to develop their training resources related to seniors. We recommend you download all of the resources from the toolkit and adapt it to your needs going forward.

  4. How was the decreased usage of NIHSeniorHealth measured? Were multiple resources considered? It would be helpful to know the metrics used for the retirement decision.
    NIA/NLM Response
    The decision to retire NIHSeniorHealth wasn’t based on usage. One of the main drivers was the need to consolidate staff resources needed to create and maintain content. Also, we no longer feel the need to create duplicate content focused solely on seniors since many of the best practices and design features for the web are now senior-friendly and implemented across government websites at NIH.
  5. NIHSeniorHealth was wonderful because of its simplicity. MedlinePlus is a great resource but can be a little overwhelming for those who are new or not used to the internet. NIHSeniorHealth was a great place to start.
    NIA/NLM Response
    We will provide this feedback to the MedlinePlus staff and they can determine how best to improve the senior-related resources. NIA resources have always been and will continue to be focused on older adult and health aging.

  6. The current site has a button that says “Change Contrast” that changes the page to a black background with yellow text (good for those with macular degeneration). Will that feature still be available?
    NIA/NLM Response
    We will not be transferring that feature to MedlinePlus or the NIA site. Many internet browsers have these capabilities built into the technology which allows users to change contrast, text-size, etc. based on their personal preferences.

  7. The decision to eliminate the NIHSeniorHealth website is, in my opinion, totally misguided. Seniors are the largest and fastest growing population in the U.S. Their costs for health care are a disproportionately large part of the health care economy. The National Institute for Aging’s website is a far inferior source of consumer health information. Compare the entries for “glaucoma” on both sites to appreciate the difference. Why are seniors’ health information needs not a priority for NLM?
    NIA/NLM Response
    Health information for older adults continues to be a priority for NLM and NIA and we are committed to continue to provide this information via MedlinePlus and the NIA’s Health and Aging site. The new NIA website will be released at the end of July and will have a more user-friendly interface geared towards all users regardless of age.

Originally posted for the Pacific Southwest Region.

Categories: RML Blogs

Elegantly Simple Evaluation: The Engage for Health Pre/Post Assessment

NEO News - Fri, 2017-07-14 18:41

I wrote a post in May 2016 about a participatory evaluation conducted with a group of public librarians from the Engage for Health program, a statewide collaboration led by the NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region (MAR) and the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA).  This was a community education program, offered by 17 libraries throughout Pennsylvania, which taught community members how to take an active role in their own health care. The training sessions introduced them to the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus and presented techniques for  managing their health issues.  The NNLM MAR recently published a web page providing access to all Engage for Health materials, which include a Word version of the pre/post assessment form used to assess the program outcomes. The Engage for Health evaluation form is the topic for today’s blog post.

The form itself is short and simple, but was carefully crafted with significant input from the  Engage for Health librarians. It is a pre/post assessment form, completed by 88% of the training participants. Below are some highlights of the Engage for Health assessment method  that I think are particularly noteworthy.

It was developed directly from the program logic model.  The Engage for Health librarians developed a logic model to identify the positive changes they hoped to see in participants who enrolled in the sessions.  Specifically, the librarians said their participants ideally would report, at the end of training, that they knew how to find trustworthy online health information and that they intended to implement health management strategies introduced in the session. (If you aren’t familiar with logic models, here’s a list of NEO Shop Talk logic model posts about the topic.) As you can see,  the questions on page 2 of the evaluation form directly relate to these outcomes.

The pre-assessment information allowed a more valid interpretation of the post-session findings. The questions on the first page of the form (the pre-assessment page) allowed us to get a baseline measure of participants’ engagement in their own health care. We learned two very important things about the participants from our preliminary assessment.  First, they were highly motivated to manage their health. Yes, one would assume that a class like ours would attract participants already engaged in their own health care. However, we documented that assumption and the information affected how we interpreted the post-assessment findings.  Furthermore, the majority said our class improved their health management skills, so the program did offer this health-savvy group some valuable new techniques.   Second, we discovered that almost none of the participants had never used MedlinePlus before attending the class. We knew, therefore, that most of the 70% who said they intended to use MedlinePlus were new adopters of the resource.

The assessment form doubled as a good teaching tool.  The pre-assessment form primed the participants for the information to be presented in the class. They reflected on how they managed their health appointments and the form’s mention of MedlinePlus peaked their interest in a resource that most of them had never used.   The post-assessment engaged them in reviewing and reflecting on the main points of the training.  One open-ended question asked them to  “List one or two things you will do differently as a result of today’s class,” reinforcing in their memories  a couple of the strategies that resonated with them.

The pre/post assessment allowed anonymity. Pre/post assessments have the advantage of showing changes in individuals over time, but they often require participant names or identifiers to match data across time periods.  By printing the pre-assessment and post-assessment forms on two sides of a single sheet of paper, we did not need participant identifiers and, therefore, could protect anonymity. This increased the likelihood that our participants would  provide candid answers to our questions. (If you want to use this anonymous method, be sure to read the Engage for Health Pre/Post Evaluation Instructions.

There is always room for improvement in any evaluation method, and the  Engage for Health librarians identified changes they would make to the first version of the assessment form. For example, a few eyebrows were raised over the 45% of participants who said they could easily find online health information. The Engage for Health librarians suspected that participants were using search engines like Google and probably turning up health information from sketchy sources. They suggested that future assessment forms ask participants where they got their health information.

Overall, this pre/post assessment method was a hit with the Engage for Health public librarians.  In our data party discussions,  many said they planned to adapt the method to evaluate other programs offered in their libraries. That was an Engage for Health evaluation finding I particularly liked!

About Elegantly Simple Evaluation posts: The NEO Shop Talk uses this series to feature simple evaluations that produce highly useful information.  We are particularly interested in projects that promote health information literacy, library programs, or outreach related to National Library of Medicine resources.  If you have a project to recommend for a future blog post, please send an email to nnlmneo@uw.edu.

 

Categories: RML Blogs

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