Archive for the ‘Non-NLM Resources’ Category
You may think of a survey invitation letter or email message as simply a delivery mechanism to send the questionnaire link to prospective respondents. The invitation may be an afterthought, hastily composed after the process of developing the questionnaire itself. However, a carefully crafted invitation has been proven to boost response rates, which are a key concern when conducting surveys. The following tips for writing invitation messages are all included in the 4th edition of Internet, Phone, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, by Dillman, Smyth, and Christian (2014), an excellent resource for conducting all aspects of the survey process. It is evidence-based, drawing on an extensive body of research literature on survey practice.
Think of the survey invitation as a “communication plan,” utilizing multiple contacts with participants to elicit good response rates. Plan for a minimum of four contacts:
- A preliminary message to let your participants know you will be sending them a questionnaire. (Do not include the questionnaire link)
- An invitation message with a link to the questionnaire (2-3 days after the preliminary contact).
- A reminder notice, preferably only to those who have not responded (one week after the invitation message).
- A final reminder notice, also specifically to those who have not responded (one week after the first reminder).
Emphasize how the participants’ feedback will help your organization improve services or programs. This simple request appeals to a common desire among humans to help others. If applicable, emphasize that you need their advice specifically because of their special experience or expertise. It is best to use mail merge to personalize your email messages, so that each participant is personally invited by name to submit their feedback. If you are contacting people who have a relationship with your organization, such as your library users or members of your organization, play up that relationship. Also, make a commitment to share results with them at a later date. And be sure to keep that commitment!
Phishing and email scams may cause leeriness about clicking on links if an email message seems odd in any way. Make sure participants know they can trust your invitation email and survey link. Take opportunities to publicize your institutional affiliation. Incorporate logos or letterhead into your emails, when possible. Provide names, email addresses, and phone numbers of one or two members of your evaluation team, so participants know who to contact with questions or to authenticate the source of the email request. You may never get a call, but they will feel better about answering questions if you give them convenient access to a member of the project team. It is also helpful to get a public endorsement of your survey project from someone who is known and trusted by your participants. You can ask someone influential in your organization to send the preliminary letter or message on your behalf. Also, publicize the project over social media channels or through organizational newsletters or blogs.
Be explicit about who will have access to individual-level data. Be sure you know the difference between anonymity (where no one knows what any given participant specifically said) and confidentiality (where identifiable comments are seen by a few specific people). You can also let participants know how you will protect their identity, but don’t go overboard. Long explanations also can cast doubt on the trustworthiness of your invitation.
And finally, provide status updates when sending reminder messages. If you mention that you are getting great feedback from other respondents, it may motivate the late responders who want to match the behavior of their peers!
Video recordings and slide presentations for most sessions of the 2015 Science Boot Camp West for Librarians are now available. The meeting was held July 27-29, 2015, at Stanford University. Video files are large and best viewed by downloading rather than watching online. The full meeting agenda is also available.
In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will host a Spanish-language webinar discussing Promoting Healthy Choices and Community Changes: An E-learning Program for Promotores de Salud on Wednesday, October 14, at 11:30 AM PDT. Registration is required to join the webinar. The e-learning program is designed to build the capacity of promotores de salud to promote better health among individuals and communities. The e-learning program is available in both Spanish and English at no cost to participants. It provides promotores de salud with basic knowledge to promote healthy choices, and strategies to motivate behavioral changes among the community members they serve. Speakers on the webinar will discuss how the e-learning program may help promotores de salud talk to community members about chronic disease management.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) features resource materials, a help line, just-in-time suggestions and tools to share information gleaned from real-life experiences in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters. This effort resulted from the collaborative efforts of local, state and federal government agencies, regional health-care coalitions, academia, and partners from the private sector and nongovernmental organizations.
TRACIE provides technical resources and a technical assistance center, a comprehensive national knowledge center, and multiple ways to share information between federal, state and local officials. TRACIE’s technical resources include a living library of audience-tailored and subject matter expert-reviewed topic collections and materials highlighting real-life tools and experiences. TRACIE’s resources include user rating and comments, which can be used to help choose the best resource for a particular need. Through TRACIE’s assistance center, state, tribal, local and territorial officials can reach subject matter experts for technical assistance and consultations on a range of topics. Technical assistance could vary widely, including pediatric preparedness resources, crisis standards of care, tools to assess the readiness of hospitals and health care coalition for emergencies, lessons learned about delivering dialysis care during disasters, and more. Officials also can find training related to preparedness, response and recovery. The assistance center is available through a toll-free number, email, and online.
TRACIE also includes an information exchange. Through this forum, health care emergency preparedness stakeholders can discuss, collaborate and share information about pending and actual health threats and promising practices. Users also can exchange templates, plans and other materials through this feature. Users can get advice, including just-in-time advice, from hundreds of health care, disaster medicine, public health and public safety professionals, through TRACIE. TRACIE’s free registration allows users to rate the usefulness of the resources and to access the information exchange.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is soliciting written comments regarding objectives proposed for inclusion in Healthy People 2020 since the last public comment period in fall 2014. Healthy People 2020 will continue to provide opportunities for public input periodically throughout the decade to ensure that Healthy People 2020 reflects current public health priorities. During the first phase of planning for Healthy People 2020, comments were received regarding the vision, mission, and implementation. Those comments helped establish the framework for Healthy People 2020. Comments from the public also helped determine the final set of Healthy People 2020 objectives. During this round of public comment, input is requested on the objectives proposed for the following topic areas: Family Planning, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health, Preparedness, and Social Determinants of Health. The public comment period will be open from October 15, 2015 through November 13, 2015.
These proposed objectives were developed by topic area workgroups, which are led by various agencies within the Federal government. They have been reviewed by the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Healthy People 2020 and are now presented for public review and comment. You are also invited to suggest additional objectives for consideration that address critical public health issues within the 42 existing topic areas of Healthy People 2020. All proposed objectives must meet the objective selection criteria. Please review these criteria prior to reviewing and commenting on objectives.
Photovoice is an evaluation method that engages program stakeholders (learners, service recipients, community members) in taking photographs and using them as springboards to express their experiences and points of view. With the prevalence of cameras in mobile devices, along with social media forums, many of us are already engaged in the foundational practices underlying photovoice: taking photos, posting them, and sharing our experiences. Add in some facilitators who provide systematic method design, project management and ethical oversight; and you have the potential to gather program insights that would go untouched through traditional methods. The following two practical resources are written by action researchers describing their lessons learned about conducting photovoice projects. The documents also show you or link you to photos and commentary from contributing participants.
One comprehensive guide comes from the Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence (PWHCE), located in Canada. The center engages in collaborative, community-based research on social and other determinants of the health of women and girls. The center’s mission is to provide expert advice on social policies related to women’s health. The authors (Beverly Palibroda, Brigette Krieg, Lisa Murdock and Joanne Havelock) published A Practical Guide To Photovoice: Sharing Pictures, Telling Stories and Changing Communities, a nuts-and-bolts photovoice manual. It provides detailed advice, with periodic sidebars summarizing process. An appendix includes a helpful checklist. You will find sample photovoice entries throughout the document. The manual was written in 2009. Since then, the PWHCE has introduced digital story-telling into its portfolio of participatory methods.
Another guide was produced based on a photovoice project for Brainline.org, an educational website providing authoritative information about brain injury symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. The project featured the stories of eight members with traumatic brain injury, with a gallery of essays. Facilitators Laura Lorenz and Barbara Webster developed a succinct facilitator guide based on this project.
The Regional Office of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region, is offering several webinars during the months of October and November. All sessions offer MLA continuing education credit.
- Introduction to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center Library (Boost Box)
Date: Tuesday, October 13, 9:00 – 10:00 AM PDT
Description: This presentation will introduce librarians and others to the extensive, unique collections of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSRVC) Library. Providing resources to researchers, advocates, medical professionals, law enforcement, allied organizations, and the public since 2000, the NSVRC Library may be considered the largest collection of materials on sexual violence and prevention in the world, currently housing a collection of over 35,000 unique titles. Learn how NSVRC can provide valuable resources and training materials for the medical profession, public health practitioners, and academic institutions nationwide. No registration is required.
- HIV/AIDS Resources
Date: Wedneday, October 14, 9:00 – 10:00 AM PDT
Description: 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. AIDSource was developed by NLM to ensure that those seeking information about HIV/AIDS have a source of quality reviewed current content, and provides access to HIV/AIDS-related information both within and outside of the federal government. The presentation will cover the many features of AIDSinfo and AIDSource, including the portfolio of AIDSinfo mobile apps. No registration is required.
- Wearable Technology: If the Tech Fits, Wear It
Date: Wednesday, October 28, 8:00 – 9:00 AM PDT
Description: “Wearable technology” and “wearable devices” are phrases that describe electronics and computers that are integrated into clothing and other accessories that can be worn comfortably on the body. Examples of wearable devices include glasses, watches, headbands, and jewelry. While these technologies show great influence in fashion and entertainment, they have the largest impact in the areas of health, medicine, and fitness. Librarians are also exploring wearable technology’s potential for enhancing services and expanding outreach to their organizations. No registration is required.
- Building Collections and Connections for LGBT Health Awareness: Improving the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons
Date: Tuesday, November 10, 12:00 – 1:30 PM PST
Description: NN/LM MAR Outreach Coordinator Kate Flewelling will teach this new course. As a result of the session, participants will develop a better understanding of the health information needs of the LGBT community; have an increased awareness of the importance of LGBT education for health care providers and the role of implicit bias in healthcare; discover resources that can be utilized in reference interactions; be able to identify electronic, print, and other resources for building a LGBT collection; and gain ideas for outreach strategies to the LGBT community. Registration is required.
NIH encourages the use of common data elements (CDEs) in clinical research, patient registries, and other human subject research in order to improve data quality and opportunities for comparison and combination of data from multiple studies and with electronic health records. The NIH Common Data Element Resource Portal provides access to information about NIH-supported CDEs, as well as tools and resources to assist investigators developing protocols for data collection. In addition, the session recording and presentation slides for the 90-minute webinar “NIH Common Data Element (CDE) Initiatives – Overview,” held on September 8, are available for viewing.
Forget about elevator speeches. Think elevator conversations instead. Elevator pitches are one of a number of strategies you may use to stealthily promote your organization’s successful programs and services, which generally consist of little promotional speeches of elevator-ride length that you can slip into small talk when you run in to “someone influential.” You can add nuggets of evaluation findings to these mini-speeches to demonstrate program value. But you may be missing a key element in the elevator pitch exchange: the other person. For insight, review the article by Tim David, Your Elevator Pitch Needs an Elevator Pitch, which appeared in the Harvard Business Review (10 December 2014), and emphasizes the importance of engaging your fellow elevator traveler, rather than talking “at” him or her. This leads to a conversation rather than a speech. It is notable how the author seamlessly slips in evidence to support his low-key pitch. For example, he surreptitiously inserts a statistic that he must have obtained from a follow-up evaluation with one of his client organizations that productivity and morale increased 38% after his training, to help underscore the value his service provided to the organization.
Here are several other tips from the article:
- Answer polite but perfunctory questions (such as “what does your office do?”) with a surprising answer.
- Use questions to draw your elevator companion into the conversation. David suggests that you talk no more than 20% of the time. Yield the remainder of the time to the other traveler, but use questions to keep the conversation rolling.
- Don’t worry too much about that 20-second time frame traditionally recommended for elevator pitches. If you successfully engage your fellow rider, he or she will hold the elevator door open to continue the chat.
The elevator pitch format is a good addition to your story-telling tool kit. But it may take some practice to be able to present an elevator pitch casually and conversationally. If you’re up for that challenge, then check out Tim David’s article for some excellent guidelines!
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched a new Spanish-language website that provides free health information on conditions of the bones, joints, muscles and skin. The site is being launched to coincide with National Hispanic Heritage Month. Increasingly, website traffic to NIAMS’ Spanish-language content represents about 50% of its total visits in a given month. To meet this high demand, the new site features quick and easy navigation tools to help Spanish-speaking individuals identify and locate NIAMS health topics. It also includes landing pages that provide all of the information offered on a given topic in one place. The website also offers:
- New site features navigation tools to help Spanish-speaking individuals locate NIAMS health topics
- Improved access to NIAMS’ Spanish-language health information and related federal resources
- Information on participating in clinical research studies
- Responsive design that makes the site easier to read on mobile devices
NIAMS is committed to providing health information that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for diverse populations, including underserved racial and ethnic communities. The NIAMS Spanish-language materials complement the institute’s entire suite of health resources that are part of its National Multicultural Outreach Initiative, many of which are also available in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.