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Vol. 4, No. 1, October 2001
This issue focuses on a few selected, high
quality web-based medical and scientific
news sources for consumers. Due to the
events of September 11, we are devoting this
space to web sites designed to assist adults
in talking to children about terrorism.
Finding Consumer Health News continues
on page 4.
Helping Children Cope with
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
This non-profit, national health care
philanthropy site includes links to specially
selected web resources on terrorism.
This site includes age-appropriate articles
for both children and adolescents.
Public Television?s Sesame Street
This site includes an age-appropriate
In Print features several new acquisitions in
our consumer health collection. Please let us
know what topics you'd like to see featured
in the future. Contact information is on the
last page of this issue.
CHRC Annual Report
The CHRC's Annual Report for FY01 has
been submitted to the Mass. Board of
Library Commissioners. The following
statistics may be of interest to CHRC
Treadwell Library received a grand total of
702 queries from 288 libraries. This
represents an increase of 170 questions over
last year. Public libraries accounted for 84%
of queries; special libraries for 12% of
queries, and the remainder came from
academic, school and law libraries, and
regional library offices.
The Southeast Region and Metrowest
together accounted for just over half the
queries, while the rest of the regions and
Boston accounted for the remainder.
Like last year, the most frequently asked
query involved delivery of health care
(representing a wide range of medical
questions about diagnoses, health insurance,
and hospital and nursing home information).
This was followed by questions about cancer
and cancer treatment; drugs and
medications; health care professionals?
credentials and contact information;
neurological disorders; and
recommendations (books, journals, internet
Treadwell Staff News
Since August, Tufts University Health
Sciences Library has been enriched by the
addition of Kate Kelly, formerly CHRC?s
Project Manager and Senior Librarian for
Outreach Services at Treadwell. Kate is
advancing her career as Head of Information
Services, Associate Librarian. Her expertise
in all aspects of the CHRC will be greatly
missed. We are, however, delighted to
welcome Julia Whelan to fill this position
and assume CHRC responsibilities. Julia is
currently Head of Reference at Sheppard
Library, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy
& Allied Health Sciences, where she
developed and taught classes and also
created a variety of web pages. She has
received and administered grants relating to
herbal medicine, complimentary/alternative
medicine, and pediatric holistic medicine.
In the News
Treadwell?s newest database
Natural Medicines Comprehensive
Database is the latest addition to Treadwell
Library?s alternative and complementary
medicine databases that can be searched for
MBLC members. This database is a
resource for evidence-based, clinical
information on natural medicines. Updated
daily, it includes clinical data on natural
medicines, herbal medicines, and dietary
supplements used in the western world.
Products receive both safety and
effectiveness ratings. Searches can be done
by scientific or brand name to find the use,
adverse effects, interactions, safety and
effectiveness of each natural medicine.
Searches can be modified to include or
exclude concepts such as mechanism of
action; interactions, including those with
food, laboratory tests, disease, other herbals,
or drugs; dosage information, etc.
MassHealth, managed by the
Commonwealth?s Division of Medical
Assistance, pays for health care for certain
low- and medium-income people living in
Massachusetts who are under age 65 and
who are not living in nursing homes or other
long-term-care facilities. MassHealth also
sponsors a weekly health segment in
Spanish on Enfoque Latino and coordinates
the speakers. This half-hour community
affairs show airs on Univision (Channel 27)
on Sundays at 6:00 p.m. Peter Droese,
MassHealth?s Health Librarian Consultant in
the Cultural Competency Resource Center,
seeks librarians who would be willing to
appear as guests or provide further
assistance. He can be reached at 617-210-
5354 or .
Breaking the Language Barrier
Martha Stone, Treadwell Library?s
Coordinator for Reference Services,
presented ?Accessing Patient Information
in Languages other than English? at Mass.
General Hospital?s Nursing Grand Rounds
on September 13 attended by nurses,
librarians, and other MGH employees.
Please let us know if you would like a
copy of the handout.
Web Sites in the News
General Pediatrics.com is partially funded
by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
grant. The Foundation is the largest in the
U. S. devoted to improving the health and
health care of all Americans. The web site?s
goal is to provide a starting point for entry
into general pediatrics and identify high
quality general pediatrics web sites. On the
home page, click on any of the 200 topics in
Search A-Z for Patients, or scroll down to
the bottom of the home page and click on
Common Problems for Patients and
Families. For instance, click on Birth
Defects/Genetics to find links to Rare
Genetic Diseases in Children sponsored by
the New York University Medical School, as
well as a half dozen other important sites.
Health Info Iowa
Health Info Iowa is a result of a grant
provided by the National Network of
Libraries, Greater Midwest Region. The
grant provided funds to support access to
electronic health information for the public.
This excellent, comprehensive site has links
to Collection Development Tools such as
the Brandon-Hill lists; CHOICES in Health
Information: The New York Public Library
Consumer Health Reference List; links to
tools for educating staff and patrons,
including guidelines on handling medical
questions in the public library; and more.
This new Merck site includes printable
radiographic images (e.g. the lung, as seen
by x-ray, magnetic resonance image,
computed tomography scan, and nuclear
lung scan), clearly drawn pictures (e.g.
cochlear implant), animations, videos and
audio. For those who prefer, the site is still
available text-only. The print equivalent is
The Merck manual of medical
information / Home ed. / Robert Berkow,
editor-in-chief / Whitehouse Station, NJ :
Merck Research Laboratories, 1997.
Medical professionals at major institutions
comprise the editorial board of this new site.
Click on MS for Professionals for
information about clinical trials; click on
News for current information from both
popular and scientific literature; click on
Resources for a chat room, a message
board, and links to organizations including
support groups and advocacy organizations.
Provider's Guide to Quality and Culture
Supported in part by the U. S. Dept. of
Health and Human Services, Health
Resources and Services Administration
(HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care, and
developed by Management Sciences for
Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to
the improvement of global health, this site is
designed to assist health care organizations
throughout the U. S. in providing high
quality, culturally competent services to
multi-ethnic populations. Highly relevant
contextual links are provided. Click on
Additional Topics to find links related to
broad areas such as ?Common Health
Problems in Selected Minority, Ethnic, and
Cultural Groups.? One of the links at that
site is to Achieving Cultural Competence:
A Guidebook for Providers of Services to
Older Americans and Their Families, at
Finding Consumer Health News
It is often difficult to track down the primary
source of medical news that a patron may
have seen on TV or mentioned in a news
article. At CHRC?s Health News, we have
collected some of the most comprehensive
health news sites. Below are sites for more
specific medical and health news.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
There are a number of highly reputable web
sites offering cancer news. However, the
NCI?s site differs in that it contains not
only links to information from the
National Cancer Institute (NCI) but also
other Federal agencies. Information is
provided on cancer issues in the media,
advances in research, as well as news
about cancer prevention, detection,
diagnosis, and treatment. Click on
?Press Releases.? You can search news
releases by date or by topic. For
example, type leukemia in the topic box.
The first press release listed, about
complete remissions in a clinical trial, is
from a report in the New England Journal
of Medicine. The full citation is given, as
well as links to photos of the articles?
authors, a schematic drawing, and an
interview with the study?s authors.
Doctor?s Guide to the Internet
This is a commercial site from P\S\L
NuMedia, a member company of P\S\L
Group, a global organization dedicated to
putting information at the service of
medicine. The medical and drug news
comes from a variety of top quality medical
and scientific sources including national
association meetings and medical journals.
The home page always features "Today's
News.? Articles are written by Doctor's
Guide staff and the full source of the
information is given. You can search for a
drug name or for a disease. For instance,
type thalidomide in the search box and
choose to search the default, ?Doctor?s
Guide.? About two dozen articles are listed,
with sources ranging from the FDA?s
clearance to treat leprosy, to reports from
ASCO?s (American Society of Clinical
Oncology) annual meeting describing
thalidomide?s use in cancer treatment.
When appropriate, citations to the medical
literature are given.
World Health News
Center for Health Communication
A very timely online news digest comes
from the Center for Health Communication
at the Harvard School of Public Health. It
offers a combination of original reporting
and a digest of news stories and
commentaries from newspapers and
magazines worldwide on pressing issues in
public health. You can sign up to receive
weekly e-mails detailing the updated
content. Since a search engine is not
available, you can use your browser?s ?find?
command to look for a word. When you
click on the story of interest, you leave the
World Health News site. For instance,
choose ?Many children won?t be the same?
(Dallas Morning News, Sept. 16, 2001) to
see the full text of the article.
Adult leukemia : a comprehensive guide
for patients and families / Barbara
Lackritz / Cambridge [Mass.] : O'Reilly,
2001. Well known as "Granny Barb" to
readers who have consulted her web site
html, the author is a survivor of CLL
(chronic lymphocytic leukemia). This book
describes many types of leukemia in an
understandable style, as well as tests,
treatment options, signs and symptoms, and
prognosis. There is also a chapter on how to
carry out research, including Medline search
strategies and web sites. O?Reilly &
Associates? Patient-Centered Guides,
are high quality, attractive, understandable
books for consumers, with useful
Lung cancer : making sense of diagnosis,
treatment, and options / Lorraine
Johnston / Cambridge [Mass.] : O'Reilly,
2001. There are many different types of
lung cancer, and this guide covers diagnosis
and staging; how to find the right specialist;
interacting with medical personnel; a broad
overview of lung cancer including statistics;
and information on prognosis and treatment.
Much of the more general information on
clinical trials, insurance, and stress, can be
applied to other diagnoses.
Tourette?s Syndrome : finding answers &
getting help / Mitzi Waltz / Cambridge
[Mass.] : O?Reilly, 2001. With an
international (English-speaking) view, Waltz
has pulled together a remarkable amount of
information on diagnosis and treatment of
Tourette?s Syndrome (TS). Of particular
interest is the section on school issues, as
well as medical information on treatment,
diagnosis, and diagnostic tests for TS and
TS-related disorders. There are extensive,
annotated bibliographies and web sites.
Consumer health : a guide to Internet
resources / compiled by Cecilia Durkin /
Chicago : Medical Library Association,
2001. The late Cecilia Durkin was well
known in medical librarianship for her depth
and breadth of knowledge. This book,
seventh in the Medical Library Association?s
BibKit Series, is comprehensive and clearly
written. It is accompanied by a diskette and
is divided into chapters covering topics such
as Diseases and Conditions; Family Health
Issues; Health Materials in Multiple
Languages; Mental Health and Substance
Abuse; and Surviving Internet Overload.
Each entry?s URL is followed by a lengthy
annotation including the site?s sponsoring
organization. There?s also a comprehensive
bibliography. Consumer Health is an
excellent source of information.
Tracking down consumer health news from
print, media, or electronic sources can be
frustrating and time-consuming. Don?t
hesitate to ask us for assistance on this or
any other subject. Please let us know if
there?s a topic you?d like to see covered in
the CHRC News.
CHRC Contact Information
Tel: 1-877-MEDI-REF (1-877-633-4733)
Consumer Health Reference Center
Bartlett Hall Extension 1
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA 02114.