Self-help and Internet-guided interventions in depression and anxiety disorders: a systematic review of meta-analyses.

CNS Spectr. 2009 Feb; 14(2 Suppl 3): 34-40
Van't Hof E, Cuijpers P, Stein DJ

There is a growing database of research on self-help and internet-guided interventions in the treatment of common mental disorders, and a number of meta-analyses have now been published. This article provides a systematic review of meta-analyses on the efficacy of self-help interventions, including internet-guided therapy, for depression and anxiety disorders. Searches were conducted in PubMed, PsychINFO, EMBASE, and the Cochrane database for statistical meta-analyses of randomized, controlled trials of self-help or internet-guided interventions for depression or anxiety disorders published in English. Reference lists were also used to find additional studies. Effect sizes were tabulated; 13 meta-analyses reported medium to large effect sizes for self-help interventions. Studies included in the meta-analyses differed in samples, type of self-help (eg, computer-aided, internet-guided), control conditions, and study design. The meta-analyses indicate that self-help methods are effective in a range of different disorders, including depression and anxiety disorders. Most meta-analyses found relatively large effect sizes for self-help treatments, independent of the type of self-help, and comparable to effect sizes for face-to-face treatments. However, further research is needed to optimize the use of self-help methods.

See original: HubMed - internet[ti] review[pt] Self-help and Internet-guided interventions in depression and anxiety disorders: a systematic review of meta-analyses.

[Web-ring of sites for pathologists in the internet: a computer-mediated communication environment]

Arkh Patol. 2009 Jan-Feb; 71(1): 40-2
Khramtsov AI, Isianov NN, Khorzhevskiĭ VA

The recently developed Web-ring of pathology-related Web-sites has transformed computer-mediated communications for Russian-speaking pathologists. Though the pathologists may be geographically dispersed, the network provides a complex of asynchronous and synchronous conferences for the purposes of diagnosis, consultations, education, communication, and collaboration in the field of pathology. This paper describes approaches to be used by participants of the pathology-related Web-ring. The approaches are analogous to the tools employed in telepathology and digital microscopy. One of the novel methodologies is the use of Web-based conferencing systems, in which the whole slide digital images of tissue microarrays were jointly reviewed online by pathologists at distant locations. By using ImageScope (Aperio Technologies) and WebEx connect desktop management technology, they shared presentations and images and communicated in realtime. In this manner, the Web-based forums and conferences will be a powerful addition to a telepathology.

See original: HubMed - internet[ti] review[pt] [Web-ring of sites for pathologists in the internet: a computer-mediated communication environment]

Essential health information available for India in the public domain on the internet.

BMC Public Health. 2009; 9: 208
Raban MZ, Dandona R, Dandona L

BACKGROUND: Health information and statistics are important for planning, monitoring and improvement of the health of populations. However, the availability of health information in developing countries is often inadequate. This paper reviews the essential health information available readily in the public domain on the internet for India in order to broadly assess its adequacy and inform further development. METHODS: The essential sources of health-related information for India were reviewed. An extensive search of relevant websites and the PubMed literature database was conducted to identify the sources. For each essential source the periodicity of the data collection, the information it generates, the geographical level at which information is reported, and its availability in the public domain on the internet were assessed. RESULTS: The available information related to non-communicable diseases and injuries was poor. This is a significant gap as India is undergoing an epidemiological transition with these diseases/conditions accounting for a major proportion of disease burden. Information on infrastructure and human resources was primarily available for the public health sector, with almost none for the private sector which provides a large proportion of the health services in India. Majority of the information was available at the state level with almost negligible at the district level, which is a limitation for the practical implementation of health programmes at the district level under the proposed decentralisation of health services in India. CONCLUSION: This broad review of the essential health information readily available in the public domain on the internet for India highlights that the significant gaps related to non-communicable diseases and injuries, private health sector and district level information need to be addressed to further develop an effective health information system in India.

See original: HubMed - internet[ti] review[pt] Essential health information available for India in the public domain on the internet.

Improving pharmaceutical care in oncology by pharmacoinformatics: the evolving role of informatics and the internet for drug therapy.

Lancet Oncol. 2009 Oct; 10(10): 1011-9
Yap KY, Chan A, Chui WK

Health-care has rapidly evolved with the informatics revolution. The rapid growth of the world-wide web as a tool for global connectivity has affected the way in which health-related information is distributed and accessed over the internet. Many informatics and internet applications are now available for use by both oncology health-care professionals and patients with cancer, with many people using the internet to search for drug-related and other health-related information. The practice of pharmaceutical care aims to ensure optimum medication-related therapeutic outcomes in patients, and involves identifying, solving, and preventing potential or actual drug-related problems (DRPs) with regards to a patient's drug therapy. Pharmacoinformatics involves the use of informatics, the internet, and interactive technologies to solve DRPs, with a focus on providing optimum pharmaceutical care and improved patient safety. This paper highlights the different pharmacoinformatics channels that have been used in the provision of pharmaceutical care, which are relevant to both oncology health-care professionals and patients with cancer. We will discuss several issues that have arisen as a result of cybermedicine, which can potentially affect the quality of pharmaceutical care in patients with cancer, and also provide insights into how pharmacoinformatics can potentially affect the future of healthcare. The opportunity of integrating pharmacoinformatics in the practice of clinical oncology as an aid to solve DRPs is indeed appealing. Oncology practitioners should not only focus on the acquistion of new treatment strategies, but also continue to embrace and harness new information and communication technologies, so as to increase their efficiency and improve on the pharmaceutical care of patients with cancer.

See original: HubMed - internet[ti] review[pt] Improving pharmaceutical care in oncology by pharmacoinformatics: the evolving role of informatics and the internet for drug therapy.

Five years [Respectful Insolence]

Has it really been that long?

It was a dismally overcast Saturday five years ago when, on a whim after having read a TIME Magazine article about how 2004 was supposedly the Year of the Blogger, I sat down in front of my computer, found Blogspot, and the first incarnation of Respectful Insolence was born. If anyone is curious, this was my first test post, and this was my first substantive post (well, sort of). Every year (at least the ones where I remember my blogiversary, I find it particularly interesting to go back to the beginning and see how true to my original vision for this blog I've been. Looking back over the last five years and comparing how this blog has evolved to my original vision, I'm surprised to conclude that I have been pretty darned true to it. Yes, I rarely write about science fiction any more. Ditto movies and music. I prefer to think that it's just because I figured out that I'm a lousy movie and music critic. Well, maybe not lousy, but being an arts critic is clearly not my strength.

Of course, it's not as though shooting my mouth off, metaphorically speaking, on the Internet was anything new for me. I had been doing it on and off since the mid-1990s on that great untamed, tangled mass of discussion forums known as Usenet; you know, the ones that hardly anyone uses anymore and that a lot of ISPs don't even give much in the way of access to now that Google has put a web interface on Usenet. The Orac 'nym was forged in the heat of Internet battle with all the varieties of Flame Warriors on Usenet in the Holocaust denial forum alt.revisionism and the alt-med forum misc.health.alternative. Indeed, in the latter newsgroup, certain highly obsessed denizens, such as Jan Drew and Tim Bolen, are still talking about me, years after I regularly posted there and many months since I last took a look. Such is the power of Orac.

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Also check out the featured ScienceBlog of the week: Neurotopia

See original: ScienceBlogs Select Five years [Respectful Insolence]

Resourceful blogging: using a blog for information sharing.

Med Ref Serv Q. 2008; 27(2): 211-20
Wilson DT, Yowell SS

In an effort to help raise awareness about the need for disaster planning in health sciences libraries, emergency response planners at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at the University of Virginia considered how best to promote the idea and provide a forum for gathering and exchanging information, while maintaining control over content in order to keep the focus and the quality of the entries consistent. The blog they created has been successful in providing much-needed assistance to hospital libraries and other libraries, both large and small, as well as for individuals and other organizations worldwide.

See original: HubMed - blogging Resourceful blogging: using a blog for information sharing.

Examining the medical blogosphere: an online survey of medical bloggers.

J Med Internet Res. 2008; 10(3): e28
Kovic I, Lulic I, Brumini G

BACKGROUND: Blogs are the major contributors to the large increase of new websites created each year. Most blogs allow readers to leave comments and, in this way, generate both conversation and encourage collaboration. Despite their popularity, however, little is known about blogs or their creators. OBJECTIVES: To contribute to a better understanding of the medical blogosphere by investigating the characteristics of medical bloggers and their blogs, including bloggers' Internet and blogging habits, their motivations for blogging, and whether or not they follow practices associated with journalism. METHODS: We approached 197 medical bloggers of English-language medical blogs which provided direct contact information, with posts published within the past month. The survey included 37 items designed to evaluate data about Internet and blogging habits, blog characteristics, blogging motivations, and, finally, the demographic data of bloggers. Pearson's Chi-Square test was used to assess the significance of an association between 2 categorical variables. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was utilized to reveal the relationship between participants' ages, as well as the number of maintained blogs, and their motivation for blogging. The Mann-Whitney U test was employed to reveal relationships between practices associated with journalism and participants' characteristics like gender and pseudonym use. RESULTS: A total of 80 (42%) of 197 eligible participants responded. The majority of responding bloggers were white (75%), highly educated (71% with a Masters degree or doctorate), male (59%), residents of the United States (72%), between the ages of 30 and 49 (58%), and working in the healthcare industry (67%). Most of them were experienced bloggers, with 23% (18/80) blogging for 4 or more years, 38% (30/80) for 2 or 3 years, 32% (26/80) for about a year, and only 7% (6/80) for 6 months or less. Those who received attention from the news media numbered 66% (53/80). When it comes to best practices associated with journalism, the participants most frequently reported including links to original source of material and spending extra time verifying facts, while rarely seeking permission to post copyrighted material. Bloggers who have published a scientific paper were more likely to quote other people or media than those who have never published such a paper (U= 506.5, n(1)= 41, n(2)= 35, P= .016). Those blogging under their real name more often included links to original sources than those writing under a pseudonym (U= 446.5, n(1)= 58, n(2)= 19, P= .01). Major motivations for blogging were sharing practical knowledge or skills with others, influencing the way others think, and expressing oneself creatively. CONCLUSIONS: Medical bloggers are highly educated and devoted blog writers, faithful to their sources and readers. Sharing practical knowledge and skills, as well as influencing the way other people think, were major motivations for blogging among our medical bloggers. Medical blogs are frequently picked up by mainstream media; thus, blogs are an important vehicle to influence medical and health policy.

See original: HubMed - blogging Examining the medical blogosphere: an online survey of medical bloggers.

Designing mobile dietary management support technologies for people with diabetes.

J Telemed Telecare. 2008; 14(7): 329-32
Arsand E, Tufano JT, Ralston JD, Hjortdahl P

We performed two cycles of laboratory-based usability testing of three food registration prototypes for people with diabetes. The design concepts were a commercial web application, various smartphones and a mobile phone photo blogging approach. Six adults with Type 1 diabetes and three adults with Type 2 diabetes participated in the usability tests. The results provided five distinct implications for devices for the future dietary management support of people with diabetes. Study participants valued many of the features offered by the three systems that were tested, although the usability tests also revealed several opportunities to enhance their design. Our findings suggest that further development is justified of mobile dietary and nutritional support for individuals living with diabetes. Applications that support healthy eating habits should be integrated with applications for managing blood glucose data and physical activity data, and potentially medication data as well.

See original: HubMed - blogging Designing mobile dietary management support technologies for people with diabetes.

The YouTube generation: implications for medical professionalism.

Perspect Biol Med. 2008; 51(4): 517-24
Farnan JM, Paro JA, Higa J, Edelson J, Arora VM

While medical education has remained relatively constant over the past century, the rising popularity of internet-based technologies, such as applications for social networking, media sharing, or blogging, has drastically changed the way in which physicians-in-training interact with educators, peers, and the outside world. The implementation of these new technologies creates new challenges and opportunities for medical educators. Representation, the absence of established policies and legal precedents, and the perception of the lay public exemplify some of the issues that arise when considering the digital images used by trainees. While some of these issues affect higher education generally, medical schools are faced with additional challenges to ensure that graduates exemplify the ideals of medical professionalism. We present a case vignette with subsequent discussion to highlight the complexities of ensuring medical professionalism in the digital age.

See original: HubMed - blogging The YouTube generation: implications for medical professionalism.

Looking to the future of new media in health marketing: deriving propositions based on traditional theories.

Health Mark Q. 2008; 25(1-2): 147-74
Della LJ, Eroglu D, Bernhardt JM, Edgerton E, Nall J

Market trend data show that the media marketplace continues to rapidly evolve. Recent research shows that substantial portions of the U.S. media population are "new media" users. Today, more than ever before, media consumers are exposed to multiple media at the same point in time, encouraged to participate in media content generation, and challenged to learn, access, and use the new media that are continually entering the market. These media trends have strong implications for how consumers of health information access, process, and retain health-related knowledge. In this article we review traditional information processing models and theories of interpersonal and mass media access and consumption. We make several theory-based propositions for how traditional information processing and media consumption concepts will function as new media usage continues to increase. These propositions are supported by new media usage data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's entry into the new media market (e.g., podcasting, virtual events, blogging, and webinars). Based on these propositions, we conclude by presenting both opportunities and challenges that public health communicators and marketers will face in the future.

See original: HubMed - blogging Looking to the future of new media in health marketing: deriving propositions based on traditional theories.

Blogging as a social tool: a psychosocial examination of the effects of blogging.

Cyberpsychol Behav. 2008 Dec; 11(6): 747-9
Baker JR, Moore SM

New MySpace users (N = 58) were surveyed on joining the site and again in 2 months to examine psychosocial differences between bloggers and nonbloggers over time. Bloggers' social integration, reliable alliance, and friendship satisfaction all significantly increased compared to nonbloggers, suggesting that blogging has beneficial effects on well-being, specifically in terms of perceived social support.

See original: HubMed - blogging Blogging as a social tool: a psychosocial examination of the effects of blogging.

The evolution of public relations and the use of the internet: the implications for health care organizations.

Health Mark Q. 2007; 24(3-4): 117-30
Berkowitz EN

Over the past several years the discipline and practice of public relations has evolved. Historically, this field within health care organizations was a one-way management of communications and often was reactive in nature dealing with a crisis situation with an organization. Recent theoretical development within the discipline suggests that public relations involves more relationship building with key constituencies and on-going-dialogue. Concomitant with this evolution is the technological development of the internet. Most particularly is the use of podcasting and blogging as key tools which have been underutilized by health car providers but have significant potential in both communication and relationship opportunities as discussed in this article.

See original: HubMed - blogging The evolution of public relations and the use of the internet: the implications for health care organizations.

People with intellectual disabilities as bloggers: what's social capital got to do with it anyway?

J Intellect Disabil. 2009 Mar; 13(1): 19-30
McClimens A, Gordon F

The concept of social capital, the socially constructed category of intellectual disability and the social practice of blogging may appear initially to be unconnected. In this study we report on an attempt to link the three as we examine the consequences of giving a group of people with intellectual disability supported access to the Internet and specifically to that section of cyberspace known as the ;blogosphere'. Using the Social Capital Question Bank as a framework, we interrogate the data in an attempt to discover whether the qualities associated with successful inclusion within society might be available via the blogging community. Along the way we touch on issues related to policy, daily life and who or what counts as a friend.

See original: HubMed - blogging People with intellectual disabilities as bloggers: what's social capital got to do with it anyway?