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Archive for the ‘News & Reports’ Category

Redesigned National Guideline Clearinghouse Coming Soon!

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is redesigning the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) Web site for release this summer! Responsive Web Design (RWD) techniques will provide a better viewing experience across a wide range of devices, from desktop and laptop computers, to tablets and mobile phones. In addition to the new design, NGC will feature updated searching capabilities by using filters and facets for refining your search results, and updated browsing capabilities for the Browse by Topic and Browse by Organization pages.

The redesigned NGC Web site will be more intuitive, with an improved, new look and feel, but will maintain the same great content that has defined NGC for many years. For more information and to preview screen shots of the changes, visit Notice to Our Users – Redesigned National Guideline Clearinghouse.

NIH Issues Single IRB Policy to Streamline Reviews of Multi-Site Research

Accelerating clinical research studies benefits researchers, research participants, and all who stand to gain from research results. Today, the time it takes to go from a sound research idea to the launch of a new, multi-site clinical research study is too long. A major contributor to the delay is that too many institutional review boards (IRBs) are reviewing the protocol and consent documents for the same study, often with no added benefit in terms of the protections for research participants. To address this bottleneck, NIH has issued a new policy to streamline the review process for NIH-funded, multi-site clinical research studies in the United States. The NIH Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Multi-Site Research sets the expectation that all sites participating in multi-site studies involving non-exempt human subjects research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will use a single Institutional Review Board (sIRB) to conduct the ethical review required by the Department of Health and Human Services regulations for the Protection of Human Subjects.

IRBs play a critical role in reviewing and approving studies involving human research participants. IRBs evaluate the potential benefits of research and risks to participants. In the past, most clinical research studies were carried out at single institutions. Now studies are increasingly conducted at multiple sites to help increase the number and diversity of the participants, improve operational efficiencies, and accelerate the generation of research results. However, for the majority of multi-site studies, the IRB at each participating site continues to conduct an independent review. This review adds time, but generally does not meaningfully enhance protections for the participants. This new NIH policy seeks to end duplicative reviews that slow down the start of the research.

NIH will support applicant and awardee institutions as they implement the new policy with guidance and resources, such as a model authorization agreement that lays out the roles and responsibilities of each signatory, and a model communication plan that identifies which documents are to be completed, and when. You can learn more about the process that NIH followed to come to this final policy, including gathering public feedback, by visiting the Office of Clinical Research and Bioethics Policy (OCRBP) web site.

NCBI Launches New Twitter Feed for NCBI Bookshelf Announcements

NCBI has a new Twitter feed, @ncbibooks, to announce new books and documents available on the NCBI Bookshelf. An online resource providing free access to the full text of books and documents in life sciences and health care, the Bookshelf currently provides access to over 4,500 titles.

The Bookshelf is continuously expanding with new materials as well as receiving updates to existing books & documents. Between May 16 and May 20, 2016, for example, 19 new titles were added. Among the new titles are several Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports, health technology assessments and systematic reviews from Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health and National Institute for Health Research (UK), and World Health Organization guidelines on daily iron supplementation.

For general news, follow NCBI on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

NLM Releases Rare Footage of President Franklin Roosevelt Speaking at NIH

On October 31, 1940, just days before President Franklin D. Roosevelt would be elected to an unprecedented third term as President of the United States, he traveled to Bethesda to dedicate the National Cancer Institute and the new campus of what was then the National Institute of Health (NIH), before it would eventually become known in plural form, National Institutes of Health, as multiple units were established over subsequent years. That late October afternoon, Roosevelt stood on the steps of the new main NIH building, ready to address a crowd of 3,000 people. Still relevant today, in a variety of contexts, are the subjects he discussed: the need for preparedness in light of war and for research into deadly diseases, recent improvements in public health and health care, and hope that the research conducted at NIH would lead to new cures for and even the prevention of disease.

The National Library of Medicine is making the film of Roosevelt’s speech publicly available online for the first time, nearly 74 years after the President made his speech. Sound recordings, transcripts, and photographs of this event have been publicly available for many years. Research suggests, however, that this rare film footage has not been seen publicly since its recording and may no longer exist anywhere else. The recording does not appear to have been professionally produced, since the camera is unsteady in places, a hand sweeps across the lens, and the filming starts and stops, though it isn’t known whether this is a result of the original filming or of later editing. The film is publicly available via the NLM’s Digital Collections archive of over 10,000 biomedical books and videos, and its YouTube site. Read more about this historically significant film footage on the NLM blog, Circulating Now: From the Historical Collections of the World’s Largest Biomedical Library.

Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Data Book: A Report to the Communities

Cover of Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Data BookA comprehensive health and lifestyle analysis of people from a range of Hispanic/Latino origins shows that this segment of the U.S. population is diverse, not only in ancestry, culture, and economic status; but also in the prevalence of several diseases, risk factors, and lifestyle habits. These health data are derived from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), a landmark study that enrolled about 16,415 Hispanic/Latino adults living in San Diego, Chicago, Miami, and the Bronx, N.Y., who self-identified with Central American, Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or South American origins. These new findings have been compiled and published as the Hispanic Community Health Study Data Book: A Report to the Communities.

The numerous findings described by the HCHS/SOL researchers confirmed some existing knowledge while also uncovering some new health trends. Among the items highlighting Hispanic diversity:

  • The percentage of people who reported having asthma ranged from 7.4 (among those of Mexican ancestry) to 35.8 (among those of Puerto Rican ancestry).
  • The percentage of individuals with hypertension ranged from 20.3 (South American) to 32.2 (Cuban).
  • The percentage of people eating five or more servings of fruits/vegetables daily ranged from 19.2 (Puerto Rican origin) to 55.0 (Cuban origin). Also, men reported consuming more fruit and vegetables than women.
  • Women reported a much lower consumption of sodium than men among all Hispanic groups represented in the study.

The full report, in English and Spanish, is available on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website.

USC Center for the Digital Future Releases 11th Digital Future Project Report!

On June 13, The University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Center for the Digital Future released the 11th Digital Future Project Report, the longest continuing study of its kind, which includes findings on more than 180 issues that explore the views and behavior of Internet users and non-users. The 2013 report features new questions about negative online attention (bullying, harassment, and unwanted sexual attention), the impact of mobile devices, and a closer examination of the “Millennial Rift;” the vast differences between how Millennials (age 18-34) and non-Millennials use online sites and services. A press release with highlights from the report is available, and the complete report is available for downloading.

Tracking the news on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

The earlier, commonly used term “novel coronavirus” or “NCoV” is being superseded by the newly designated term “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).” The Coronavirus Study Group, International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, announced the new terminology, which is being adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other groups. When searching for information on this virus, it may be useful to use both the old and new terms, as well as other terms that have been used to describe the virus; including human betacoronavirus 2c EMC, human betacoronavirus 2c England-Qatar, human betacoronavirus 2C Jordan-N3, or betacoronavirus England 1. One caveat is that searching PubMed with the term “coronavirus” will retrieve many citations related to the 2002-03 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak, since the SARS virus and MERS-CoV are both coronaviruses. Following are key resources for tracking MERS-CoV news:

National Strategy for Suicide Prevention

Cover image of National Strategy for Suicide Prevention report On September 10, 2012, the Action Alliance, along with the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, released the revised National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP). The revised strategy emphasizes the role every American can play in protecting their friends, family members, and colleagues from suicide. It also provides guidance for schools, businesses, health systems, clinicians, and many other sectors that takes into account nearly a decade of research and other advancements in the field since the last strategy was published.

The NSSP features 13 goals and 60 objectives, with the themes that suicide prevention should:

  • Foster positive public dialogue; counter shame, prejudice, and silence; and build public support for suicide prevention;
  • Address the needs of vulnerable groups, be tailored to the cultural and situational contexts in which they are offered, and seek to eliminate disparities;
  • Be coordinated and integrated with existing efforts addressing health and behavioral health, and ensure continuity of care;
  • Promote changes in systems, policies, and environments that will support and facilitate the prevention of suicide and related problems;
  • Bring together public health and behavioral health;
  • Promote efforts to reduce access to lethal means among individuals with identified suicide risks;
  • Apply the most up-to-date knowledge base for suicide prevention.

The overview, full report, fact sheet, and public service announcement are available on the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention website.

New Discussion Paper: Attributes of a Health Literate Organization

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  A PDF of the discussion paper can be downloaded here.

2010 Census Shows Asians are Fastest-Growing Race Group

The U.S. Census Bureau has just released a 2010 Census brief, The Asian Population: 2010, showing that the Asian population grew faster than any other racial or ethnic group over the last decade, to more than 17 million, more than four times the rate of growth for the U.S. population as a whole. The report noted the population surge for those identifying as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, of 45.6% from 2000 to 2010, while those who identified as Asian alone grew by 43.3%. The total U.S. population increased by 9.7% from 2000 to 2010. The Asian alone-or-in-combination population grew by at least 30% in all states except Hawaii, which had an 11% increase. Other highlights of the report showed that the states with the highest proportions of the Asian alone-or-in-combination population were in the West and the Northeast. The Asian alone-or-in-combination population represented 57% of the total population in Hawaii. California had the next highest proportion at 15%. For U.S. cities, New York had the largest Asian alone-or-in-combination population with 1.1 million, followed by Los Angeles with 484,000 and San Jose at 327,000. Three other cities — San Francisco, San Diego, and Honolulu — had Asian alone-or-in-combination populations of more than 200,000 people. The ranking was identical for the Asian alone population. The places with a total population of 100,000 or more with the greatest proportion of the Asian alone-or-in-combination population were Honolulu at 68%, and nine California cities; including Daly City (58%), Fremont (55%), Sunnyvale (44%), Irvine (43%), Santa Clara (41%), Garden Grove (39%), Torrance (38%), San Francisco (36%) and San Jose (35%). The rising Asian population was due mainly to immigration arrivals from throughout the Asian Pacific region and Indian subcontinent. Additional information is available from the U.S. Census news release.