GMR Success Stories
Like many states across the country, Indiana has seen a significant increase in the number of opioid abusers. The state ranks 17th in the number of overdose deaths, and the number of deaths involving heroin use has increased from 7 in 2005 to 239 in 2015.
The GMR office is funding IPRC to develop an e-resources database devoted solely to the topic of the current opioid epidemic, with a particular focus on Indiana, that will feature as subthemes from the homepage educational materials on how to judge the quality of health information resources and links to highlighted National Library of Medicine materials. IPRC will promote the database across the state via multiple paths, including social media, direct mailings, and IPRC staff working in various regions. Outreach efforts will be doubled in Indiana’s 21 medically underserved counties in order to increase visibility to health professionals and community members in these regions.
The implementation of this project aims to fulfill four main goals:
1. Raise awareness and knowledge about the current opioid epidemic in Indiana and nationally
2. Raise awareness about the rich resources available through the National Library of Medicine
3. Raise awareness and knowledge about how to judge the quality of health information to improve decision-making about health care
4. Reach health professionals and the general public, especially in underserved areas
I applied and was thrilled to receive funding from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) office for the Greater Midwest Region’s Professional Development Award. This award enabled me to attend the 2.5-day workshop, Systematic Review Workshop: The Nuts and Bolts for Librarians at the University of Pittsburgh’s Falk Library of the Health Sciences from July 17 to 19, 2017. As a newbie in the systematic reviews (SR) world, the workshop was ideal—it clarified my confusion in distinguishing among meta-analyses, SRs, and other types of reviews (e.g. narrative review) and the role of librarians as well as the importance of PubMed. We examined several types of reviews. Despite following the same standards (e.g. Institute of Medicine and PRISMA), some SRs may be of poor quality. I am planning on incorporating the information we learned about report bias in SRs in a September workshop in my library at the University of Akron.
At the Welcome Reception, I met my librarian colleagues. The class consisted of 24 academic and hospital librarians who came as far away as California and Florida and included other non-health sciences librarians: one engineering and one instruction librarian. I enjoyed visiting the scenic Duquesne Incline and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The host city had an extensive banquet of food choices that were in close proximity to the Falk Library. A friend from Pittsburgh told me that the city has over 700 bridges!
It was clear to us that the SR process is not easy—it is time-consuming, complex, challenging but it can be rewarding in supporting researchers. Not all libraries represented had a formal SR service. The first day of the class focused on theoretical concepts such as introduction to systematic reviews, study design, advice on the reference interview and communicating with the SR team. The instructors gave us examples and urged librarians to always ask for the protocol from the SR team. Clear and ongoing communication is essential. I was surprised at the number of resources, including open access resources that index SRs. On the second day, we concentrated on the heart of the librarian’s role in the SR process—-the literature search. We identified databases, namely PubMed recommended for SRs and several grey literature sources. PubMed was recommended for its comprehensiveness and currency in lieu of licensed MEDLINE databases. Another take home message for me was the importance of searching PubMed effectively—proficient use of PubMed was a must! We also worked in small groups to brainstorm, build a search string and test it using PubMed. The instructors shared examples they had completed with SRs teams and their experiences. Overall, I am more confident and prepared to address questions pertaining to SRs than prior to the workshop. Although we don’t have a current formal Systematic Review services program in my library, the foundations for providing SRs research services are beneficial and core aspects of health sciences librarianship. Being familiar with conducting SRs and honing one’s expertise in advanced PubMed searching contribute positively as we help users with their information seeking research and interests.
Submitted on behalf of Marilia Antúnez, Assistant Professor of Bibliography and Life & Allied Health Sciences Librarian at The University of Akron.
The photos below show the Systematic Review Workshop in action and Marilia and other workshop attendees in front of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh dinosaur.
On July 12, Chris Childs the Education & Outreach Librarian for the University of Iowa’s Hardin Library for the Health Sciences gave a Clinical Research & Patient Wellness Training Session to seventeen staff members of the Siouxland Medical Education Foundation. The purpose of this training session is to introduce the audience to free high quality clinical, evidence-based practice and patient wellness resources that they can access either from the Internet of the State Library of Iowa after they sign up for a State Library Card. All of these resources are listed on the Free Clinical Research & Patient Wellness Resources LibGuide. The LibGuide’s URL is http://guides.lib.uiowa.edu/crpw
Chris has been giving this training session for several years to different groups throughout the state of Iowa that are not affiliated with the University of Iowa. During the training session, audience members learn how to use Boolean logic and truncation to search PubMed and CINAHL, how to use the filters in PubMed and CINHAL to find free full text articles, the evidence-based practice pyramid and the importance of locating systematic reviews, open access journals, patient education resources from the National Library of Medicine and mobile apps and websites that can be downloaded for free. Chris has given this training session at hospitals, rural clinics, public libraries and the Newton County Correctional Facility.
Recently, the State Library of Iowa decided not to renew its subscription to CINHAL and other EBSCOhost databases. This news hit Chris pretty hard as most of his training session are to nurses who greatly value CINAHL and appreciate the fact that they could access the State Library of Iowa’s subscription for free just by getting a State Library Card. After making edits to the Free Clinical Research & Patient Wellness Resources LibGuide to reflect these changes, he decided to make a positive out of a negative and take the time that he would normally use to go over basic searching in CINAHL to go over subject searching techniques in PubMed and the MeSH database. He would have tried this new version of this training session out in Sioux City, but he was only given 45 minutes instead of the usual hour, so he didn’t have the opportunity.
The map below shows all of the outreach and exhibiting activities Chris has done throughtout Iowa since 2008.
Katherine Chew, the NNLM/GMR Outreach Librarian for Minnesota from the University of Minnesota spent her May providing two health information workshops for public librarians from the Ramsey County public library system. Katherine was able to connect with the person responsible for professional development at Ramsey County and given a choice of potential workshops, the Ramsey County librarians chose to participate in workshops geared towards providing health information to foreign born populations and how to connect older adults to quality health information. The workshops took place at the Roseville Public Library, which is located just north of Saint Paul and east of Minneapolis. It is one of two Twin Cities suburbs that are adjacent to both Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Nine librarians were able to find time in their busy schedules to attend both of the two hour interactive workshops that included a presentation, hands-on exercises and take-away resource materials. One of the attendees has already spoken to Katherine about potentially providing a consumer oriented health information workshop this fall. Next up is connecting with the Hennepin County librarians.
Read more about the workshops here.
For the past several summers, Ebling Library librarians have given orientations and taught high school and undergraduate students visiting campus for three different programs. In addition to tell them about resources at Ebling Library we give them a healthy dose of information regarding NLM resources.
First, the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy hosts high school students enrolled in the Pre-College Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE) program. This eight week program introduces the students to a variety of health science careers. The program serves as a pre-college pipeline for students of color and low-income students. Covering resources such as http://nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/healthoccupations.html gives the students a glimpse into careers in pharmacy as well as other health occupations.
Second, UW-Madison Department of Surgery hosts a 6-week internship for high-school juniors called the Surgery Clinical Research Experiences for High School Students Program. Funded in part by the Doris Duke Foundation the program offers minority students first hand opportunities to experience the rewards of an academic medical career which include providing cutting-edge patient care in an environment that promotes novel clinical investigation for the purpose of improving care. The program is designed to encourage participants to consider careers in surgery with a clinical research component. A librarian meets with the group to talk about PubMed research tips and tricks as well as cover other NLM resources.
Last, the Rural and Urban Scholars in Community Health (RUSCH) program is a pre-med pipeline program that has been developed by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in partnership with three UW System campuses (UW-Milwaukee, UW-Platteville and UW-Parkside); Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia; and Wisconsin’s Native American college students enrolled in any campus. The aim of RUSCH is to select and nurture students who show an interest in practicing medicine in rural and urban underserved areas of the state. Underrepresented or disadvantaged students from partner schools are encouraged to apply, as well as Native American applicants from schools in Wisconsin and surrounding states. An Ebling librarian meets with group to again show them PubMed research tips and tricks focusing on underserved population terms and how to locate other NLM resources focusing on Native Americans’ health.
Submitted on behalf of Heidi Marleau