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1.  Quality and Certification of Electronic Health Records 
Applied Clinical Informatics  2010;1(2):149-164.
Numerous projects, initiatives, and programs are dedicated to the development of Electronic Health Records (EHR) worldwide. Increasingly more of these plans have recently been brought from a scientific environment to real life applications. In this context, quality is a crucial factor with regard to the acceptance and utility of Electronic Health Records. However, the dissemination of the existing quality approaches is often rather limited.
The present paper aims at the description and comparison of the current major quality certification approaches to EHRs.
A literature analysis was carried out in order to identify the relevant publications with regard to EHR quality certification. PubMed, ACM Digital Library, IEEExplore, CiteSeer, and Google (Scholar) were used to collect relevant sources. The documents that were obtained were analyzed using techniques of qualitative content analysis.
The analysis discusses and compares the quality approaches of CCHIT, EuroRec, IHE, openEHR, and EN13606. These approaches differ with regard to their focus, support of service-oriented EHRs, process of (re-)certification and testing, number of systems certified and tested, supporting organizations, and regional relevance.
The analyzed approaches show differences with regard to their structure and processes. System vendors can exploit these approaches in order to improve and certify their information systems. Health care organizations can use these approaches to support selection processes or to assess the quality of their own information systems.
PMCID: PMC3632276  PMID: 23616834
Quality; certification; electronic health record; medical records
2.  Retained Foreign Bodies: A Serious Threat in the Indian Operation Room 
Retained foreign bodies (RFBs) are a surgical complication resulting from foreign materials accidently left in a patient's body. This review attempts to give an overview of different types of RFBs, problems related to them and their management after the surgical operation. The internet was searched using the Google and Google scholar. In addition, relevant electronic journals from the University's library such as Entrez (including PubMed and PubMed central), Since Direct, Scirus,,,, Scopus,, Cochrane library,, and World Health Organization Hinari. It shows that the major reasons of RFBs are emergency surgical operation with unplanned changes, patient high body mass index, and poor communication. To prevent this textile material should be radiopaque marked and must be counted once at the start and twice at the conclusion of all surgical procedures. If the count is incorrect, then radiography or manually re-exploration should be performed. Ultrasonography, computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and radio frequency identification are also used in the proper identification of RFBs. Safety practice should be robust and simple enough to protect patient under the most chaotic of circumstances. Proper communication among the personnel participating in surgery aimed at preventing this medical negligence would help in mitigating such errors. Finally, the surgeon should not only follow the standard recommended procedure, but also report cases of RFBs.
PMCID: PMC3952293  PMID: 24669327
Medical negligence; Radiography; Retained foreign bodies
3.  Prophylactic vaccination against human papillomavirus infection and disease in women: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials 
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is now known to be a necessary cause of cervical cancer, and prophylactic HPV vaccines aimed at preventing genital warts, precancerous cervical lesions and cervical cancer are now available. To gauge the potential impact on disease burden, we performed a systematic review of the evidence from randomized controlled trials.
We conducted a systematic search of the literature to identify all randomized controlled trials of prophylactic HPV vaccination. Reports in 5 electronic databases covering 1950 to June 2007 (MEDLINE, MEDLINE in process, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials and the Cochrane Library), bibliographies of all included studies and of narrative reviews (2006–2007), clinical trial registries, Google Scholar, public health announcements, selected conference proceedings (2004–2007) and manufacturers' information on unpublished data or ongoing trials were screened against predefined eligibility criteria by 2 independent reviewers. Vaccines had to contain coverage against at least 1 oncogenic HPV strain. The primary outcome of interest was the frequency of high-grade cervical lesions (high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, or grade 2 or 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia). The secondary outcomes were persistent HPV infection, low-grade cervical lesions (low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or grade 1 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia), external genital lesions, adverse events and death. Meta-analysis of the data was done in all cases where adequate clinical and methodological homogeneity existed.
Of 456 screened reports, 9 were included in the review (6 were reports of randomized controlled trials and 3 were follow-up reports of initial trials). Findings from the meta-analysis showed that prophylactic HPV vaccination was associated with a reduction in the frequency of high-grade cervical lesions caused by vaccine-type HPV strains compared with control groups: Peto odds ratio 0.14 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.09–0.21) from combined per-protocol analyses, and 0.52 (95% CI 0.43–0.63) from modified intention-to-treat analyses. Vaccination was also highly efficacious in preventing other HPV-related infection and disease outcomes, including persistent HPV infection, low-grade lesions and genital warts. The majority of adverse events were minor. The incidence of serious adverse events and death were balanced between the vaccine and control groups.
Among women aged 15–25 years not previously infected with vaccine-type HPV strains, prophylactic HPV vaccination appears to be highly efficacious in preventing HPV infection and precancerous cervical disease. Long-term follow-up is needed to substantiate reductions in cervical cancer incidence and mortality.
PMCID: PMC1950172  PMID: 17671238
4.  Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus: The Nigerian Perspective 
Despite the proven effectiveness of the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) program, Nigeria currently has the highest burden of vertical transmission of HIV in the world due to poor coverage of the PMTCT program partly as a result of poor knowledge of PMTCT interventions amongst healthcare providers in the country. This paper aims at making information on PMTCT interventions more readily available to healthcare providers in developing countries. The internet was searched using Google and Google scholar. In addition, relevant electronic journals from the Universities library including PubMed and Scirus, Medline, Cochrane library, and World Health Organization (WHO)'s Hinari were used. There was paucity of published work on PMCT from Nigeria. Most of the information concerning PMCT in Nigeria was obtained from technical reports from the Federal Ministry of Health and WHO. It is expected that this article will help in improving healthcare providers’ knowledge of PMTCT interventions and thus help in the urgently needed rapid scale-up of PMTCT services in Nigeria.
PMCID: PMC3507117  PMID: 23209993
PMTCT; Healthcare providers; Rapid scale-up
5.  Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and patient safety 
Radio frequency identification (RFID) systems have been successfully applied in areas of manufacturing, supply chain, agriculture, transportation, healthcare, and services to name a few. However, the different advantages and disadvantages expressed in various studies of the challenges facing the technology of the use of the RFID technology have been met with skepticism by managers of healthcare organizations. The aim of this study was to express and display the role of RFID technology in improving patient safety and increasing the impact of it in healthcare.
Materials and Methods:
This study was non-systematical review, which the literature search was conducted with the help of libraries, books, conference proceedings, PubMed databases and also search engines available at Google, Google scholar in which published between 2004 and 2013 during Febuary 2013. We employed the following keywords and their combinations; RFID, healthcare, patient safety, medical errors, and medication errors in the searching areas of title, keywords, abstract, and full text.
The preliminary search resulted in 68 articles. After a careful analysis of the content of each paper, a total of 33 papers was selected based on their relevancy.
We should integrate RFID with hospital information systems (HIS) and electronic health records (EHRs) and support it by clinical decision support systems (CDSS), it facilitates processes and reduce medical, medication and diagnosis errors.
PMCID: PMC3872592  PMID: 24381626
Identification; medical errors; patients; radio; safety; technology
6.  High Burden of Protein–Energy Malnutrition in Nigeria: Beyond the Health Care Setting 
There is still a high burden of protein–energy malnutrition in Nigeria. The severe forms of the disease are usually associated with high level of mortality even in the tertiary health facilities. To review the cost-effective health promotional strategies at community levels that could aid prevention, early detection, and prompt treatment of protein–energy malnutrition. The strategy used for locating articles used for this review was to search databases like Google, Google scholar, relevant electronic journals from the universities’ libraries, including PubMed and Scirus, Medline, Cochrane library and WHO's Hinari. We believe that strategies beyond the health care setting have potential of significantly reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with protein–energy malnutrition in Nigeria.
PMCID: PMC3507123  PMID: 23209994
Community; High burden; Nigeria; Protein–energy malnutrition; Strategies
7.  Educational and behavioral interventions for asthma: who achieves which outcomes? A systematic review 
Randomized clinical trial (RCT) data reviewed for outcomes and processes associated with asthma educational and behavioral interventions provided by different types of health professionals.
Cochrane Collaboration, MEDLINE, PUBMED, Google Scholar search from 1998 to 2009 identified 1650 articles regarding asthma educational and behavioral interventions resulting in 249 potential studies and following assessment produced a final sample of 50 RCTs.
Approaches, intended outcomes, and program providers vary greatly. No rationale provided in study reports for the selection of specific outcomes, program providers, or program components. Health care utilization and symptom control have been the most common outcomes assessed. Specific providers favor particular teaching approaches. Multidisciplinary teams have been the most frequent providers of asthma interventions. Physician-led interventions were most successful for outcomes related to the use of health care. Multidisciplinary teams were best in achieving symptom reduction and quality of life. Lay persons were best in achieving self-management/self-efficacy outcomes. Components most frequently employed in successful programs are skills to improve patient–clinician communication and education to enhance patient self-management. Fifty percent of interventions achieved reduction in the use of health care and one-third in symptom control. A combination approach including self-management and patient–clinician communication involving multidisciplinary team members may have the greatest effect on most outcomes.
The extent to which and how different providers achieve asthma outcomes through educational and behavioral interventions is emerging from recent studies. Health care use and symptom control are evolving as the gold standard for intervention outcomes. Development of self-management and clinician–patient communication skills are program components associated with success across outcomes and providers.
PMCID: PMC3047921  PMID: 21437053
interventions; asthma; health professionals; systematic review
8.  A systematic review of interventions in primary care to improve health literacy for chronic disease behavioral risk factors 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:49.
To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions used in primary care to improve health literacy for change in smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity and weight (SNAPW).
A systematic review of intervention studies that included outcomes for health literacy and SNAPW behavioral risk behaviors implemented in primary care settings.
We searched the Cochrane Library, Johanna Briggs Institute, Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Psychinfo, Web of Science, Scopus, APAIS, Australasian Medical Index, Google Scholar, Community of Science and four targeted journals (Patient Education and Counseling, Health Education and Behaviour, American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Preventive Medicine).
Study inclusion criteria: Adults over 18 years; undertaken in a primary care setting within an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country; interventions with at least one measure of health literacy and promoting positive change in smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity and/or weight; measure at least one outcome associated with health literacy and report a SNAPW outcome; and experimental and quasi-experimental studies, cohort, observational and controlled and non-controlled before and after studies.
Papers were assessed and screened by two researchers (JT, AW) and uncertain or excluded studies were reviewed by a third researcher (MH). Data were extracted from the included studies by two researchers (JT, AW). Effectiveness studies were quality assessed. A typology of interventions was thematically derived from the studies by grouping the SNAPW interventions into six broad categories: individual motivational interviewing and counseling; group education; multiple interventions (combination of interventions); written materials; telephone coaching or counseling; and computer or web based interventions. Interventions were classified by intensity of contact with the subjects (High ≥ 8 points of contact/hours; Moderate >3 and <8; Low ≤ 3 points of contact hours) and setting (primary health, community or other).
Studies were analyzed by intervention category and whether significant positive changes in SNAPW and health literacy outcomes were reported.
52 studies were included. Many different intervention types and settings were associated with change in health literacy (73% of all studies) and change in SNAPW (75% of studies). More low intensity interventions reported significant positive outcomes for SNAPW (43% of studies) compared with high intensity interventions (33% of studies). More interventions in primary health care than the community were effective in supporting smoking cessation whereas the reverse was true for diet and physical activity interventions.
Group and individual interventions of varying intensity in primary health care and community settings are useful in supporting sustained change in health literacy for change in behavioral risk factors. Certain aspects of risk behavior may be better handled in clinical settings while others more effectively in the community. Our findings have implications for the design of programs.
PMCID: PMC3444864  PMID: 22656188
Health literacy; Behavioral risk factors
9.  Culturally tailored postsecondary nutrition and health education curricula for indigenous populations 
International Journal of Circumpolar Health  2013;72:10.3402/ijch.v72i0.21144.
In preparation for the initial offering of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), Interior–Aleutians Campus Rural Nutrition Services (RNS) program, a literature review was conducted to establish the need for the proposed program and to substantiate the methodology for delivering integrated, culturally tailored postsecondary education and extension to Alaska Natives and rural Alaskans. There was a striking absence of peer-reviewed journal articles describing culturally tailored postsecondary health curricula for indigenous populations.
To complete and discuss a current (November 2012) literature review for culturally tailored postsecondary health curricula designed and delivered for indigenous populations.
The author conducted an expanded online search that employed multiple configurations of key terms using Google and Google Scholar, as well as pertinent sources. The author located archived reports in person and contacted authors by email.
The expanded search produced a modest amount of additional literature for review. A disappointing number of publications describing or evaluating culturally tailored postsecondary health curricula in mainstream institutions are available. Related resources on culturally tailored extension and resources for the development and delivery of culturally tailored nutrition and health curricula were identified.
The present results demonstrate a significant absence of literature on the topic, which may or may not indicate the absence of sufficient culturally tailored postsecondary health curricula for indigenous populations. There are indications that culturally tailored postsecondary health curricula for indigenous populations have the potential to effectively address certain issues of health literacy and health disparities.
PMCID: PMC3748461  PMID: 23967420
cultural tailoring; postsecondary education; nutrition; indigenous; health; health literacy
10.  A Theoretical Approach to Electronic Prescription System: Lesson Learned from Literature Review 
The tendency to use advanced technology in healthcare and the governmental policies have put forward electronic prescription. Electronic prescription is considered as the main solution to overcome the major drawbacks of the paper-based medication prescription, such as transcription errors. This study aims to provide practical information concerning electronic prescription system to a variety of stakeholders.
Evidence Acquisition
In this review study, PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Scopus, EMBASE databases, Iranian National Library Of Medicine (INLM) portal, Google Scholar, Google and Yahoo were searched for relevant English publications concerning the problems of paper-based prescription, and concept, features, levels, benefits, stakeholders and standards of electronic prescription system.
There are many problems with the paper prescription system which, according to studies have jeopardized patients’ safety and negatively affected the outcomes of medication therapy. All of these problems are remedied through the implementation of e-prescriptions.
The sophistication of electronic prescription and integration with EHR will become a reality, if all its stakeholders collaborate in developing fast and secure electronic prescription systems. It is plausible that the required infrastructure should be provided for implementation of the national integrated electronic prescription systems in countries without the system. Given the barriers to the implementation and use, policymakers should consider multiple strategies and offer incentives to encourage e-prescription initiatives. This will result in widespread adoption of the system.
PMCID: PMC3950788
Electronic Prescribing; Utilization; Standards
11.  Organ Transplantation: Legal, Ethical and Islamic Perspective in Nigeria 
Organ transplantation dates back to the ancient times and since then it has become one of the important developments in modern medicine; saving the lives, as well as improving the quality of life of many patients. As the demand for organ transplantation far exceeds the organ availability, the transplant program is often saddled with complex legal and ethical issues. This review article highlights the legal and ethical issues that might arise regarding organ transplantation and appraises the existing legal frame work governing organ transplantation in Nigeria. Information on legal, cultural, religious and medical ethical issues regarding organ transplantation in Nigeria was obtained by searching the PubMed and Google Scholar, conference proceedings, seminar paper presentations, law library and other related publications were collated and analyzed. In decision making for organ transplantation, the bioethical principles like autonomy, beneficence and justice must be employed. It was believed by Catholic theologians that to mutilate one living person to benefit another violates the principle of Totality. Among Muslim scholars and researchers, there are those who throw legal support as to its permissibility while the other group sees it as illegal. Organ/tissues transplantation is considered a medical intervention that touches on the fundamental rights of the donor or the recipient. Where there is an unlawful infringement of the right of such persons in any way may be regarded as against Section 34 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution dealing with right to dignity of the human person. Worldwide, the researchers and government bodies have agreed on informed consent for organ/tissue donation and for recipient should be obtained without coercion before embarking on such medical treatment Worldwide organ transplantation has become the best medical treatment for patients with end stage organ failure. However, there is no law/legislation backing organ/tissues transplantation in Nigeria. The government should take measures to combat transplantation tourism and the problem of national and international trafficking in human tissues and organs, ethics commission and National Transplant registry should be established in order to monitor and regulate the programme in the country.
PMCID: PMC3762001  PMID: 24027394
Ethical; Islamic perspective; legal; Nigeria; organ transplantation
12.  Magnesium sulfate for acute asthma in adults: a systematic literature review 
Asia Pacific Allergy  2012;2(1):76-85.
Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) has been considered as an adjunct therapy for severe and life-threatening asthma exacerbation. The literature search was performed using MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding magnesium therapy in acute exacerbation of adult asthma. A total of 16 trials and 4 meta-analyses were identified. As results, intravenous MgSO4 was beneficial in severe exacerbation, but evidence for nebulized magnesium was insufficient. However, larger trials are required to draw confirmative conclusions on the efficacy. Regarding the safety concern, the risk of major toxicity appears to be very low at usual doses described in the literature. Additionally, results from 4 surveys were examined on the gaps between knowledge and practice, and on the barrier to the use of MgSO4 at emergency departments. This literature review summarized the up-to-date evidence on the issues regarding the use of MgSO4 for acute asthma. We expect more studies to be conducted for evidence making in the Asian-Pacific regions.
PMCID: PMC3269605  PMID: 22348210
Asthma; Magnesium sulfate; Emergency treatment; Review
13.  Clinical guidelines for postpartum women and infants in primary care–a systematic review 
While many women and infants have an uneventful course during the postpartum period, others experience significant morbidity. Effective postpartum care in the community can prevent short, medium and long-term consequences of unrecognised and poorly managed problems. The use of rigorously developed, evidence-based guidelines has the potential to improve patient care, impact on policy and ensure consistency of care across health sectors. This study aims to compare the scope and content, and assess the quality of clinical guidelines about routine postpartum care in primary care.
PubMed, the National Guideline Clearing House, Google, Google Scholar and relevant college websites were searched for relevant guidelines. All guidelines regarding routine postpartum care published in English between 2002 and 2012 were considered and screened using explicit selection criteria. The scope and recommendations contained in the guidelines were compared and the quality of the guidelines was independently assessed by two authors using the AGREE II instrument.
Six guidelines from Australia (2), the United Kingdom (UK) (3) and the United States of America (USA) (1), were included. The scope of the guidelines varied greatly. However, guideline recommendations were generally consistent except for the use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale for mood disorder screening and the suggested time of routine visits. Some recommendations lacked evidence to support them, and levels or grades of evidence varied between guidelines. The quality of most guidelines was adequate. Of the six AGREE II domains, applicability and editorial independence scored the lowest, and scope, purpose and clarity of presentation scored the highest.
Only one guideline provided comprehensive recommendations for the care of postpartum women and their infants. As well as considering the need for region specific guidelines, further research is needed to strengthen the evidence supporting recommendations made within guidelines. Further improvement in the editorial independence and applicability domains of the AGREE ll criteria would strengthen the quality of the guidelines.
PMCID: PMC3906750  PMID: 24475888
Postpartum care; Clinical guidelines; AGREE II; Maternal health; Infant health
14.  Role of Exercise in the Management of Diabetes Mellitus: the Global Scenario 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80436.
Exercise training programs have emerged as a useful therapeutic regimen for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Majority of the Western studies highlighted the effective role of exercise in T2DM. Therefore, the main aim was to focus on the extent, type of exercise and its clinical significance in T2DM in order to educate the clinicians from developing countries, especially in Asians.
Pubmed, Science Direct, Scopus, ISI Web of Knowledge and Google scholar were searched using the terms “type 2 diabetes mellitus,” “type 2 DM,” “exercise,” and/or “physical activity,” and “type 2 diabetes mellitus with exercise.” Only clinical or human studies published in English language between 2000 and 2012 were included. Certain criteria were assigned to achieve appropriate results.
Twenty five studies met the selected criteria. The majority of the studies were randomized controlled trial study design (65%). Most of the aerobic exercise based studies showed a beneficial effect in T2DM. Resistance exercise also proved to have positive effect on T2DM patients. Minimal studies related to other types of exercises such as yoga classes, joba riding and endurance-type exercise were found. On the other hand, United States of America (USA) showed strong interest of exercise management towards T2DM.
Aerobic exercise is more common in clinical practice compared to resistance exercise in managing T2DM. Treatment of T2DM with exercise training showed promising role in USA. A large number of researches are mandatory in the developing countries for incorporating exercise in the effective management of T2DM.
PMCID: PMC3827454  PMID: 24236181
15.  Constipation in Iran: SEPAHAN Systematic Review No. 5 
Constipation is physically and mentally troublesome for many patients and has adverse effects on their quality of life. The aim of the present study was to systematically review previous studies on the epidemiology of constipation in Iran.
Bibliographic databases including PubMed, Google Scholar, and Iranian databases including Scientific Information Database, Iran Medex, and Magiran were searched to select studies that reported the prevalence of constipation in Iran.
Overall, 10 articles met the inclusion criteria of the current study. The prevalence of constipation in Iran ranged from 1.4-37%, and the prevalence of functional constipation was reported to be 2.4-11.2%. Gender, age, socioeconomic status and educational level seem to have major effects on this condition.
The prevalence of constipation is high in Iran. There are very few data available regarding the natural history, quality of life and risk factors of constipation in our country. Conducting population-based studies is necessary to explore different epidemiological aspects of constipation in Iran.
PMCID: PMC3399301  PMID: 22826768
Constipation; epidemiology; Iran; systematic review
16.  Challenges in the Management of Bronchial Asthma Among Adults in Nigeria: A Systematic Review 
Inadequate attention given to the management of asthma and ways of improving bronchial asthma control could be an important factor for the rising morbidity and mortality from asthma despite major advances in our understanding of the disease process. There is a paucity of data concerning the challenges faced in the management of asthma in Africa. This review was aimed at highlighting the challenges facing asthma management and to discuss various strategies in improving asthma control in Nigeria. Data were sourced from PubMed, Medline, African Journals Online, Google Scholar, SCOPUS, and by reviewing the references of relevant literature. Additional articles were obtained via communications with colleagues and reviewing the Abstract Books of Nigeria Thoracic Society Annual Scientific Conference from 2005 to 2012. The data search was up-to-date as of December 31, 2012. Challenges in asthma management were found during diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. There are wide variations in diagnostic criteria for bronchial asthma and lack of standard diagnostic equipment leading to under or misdiagnosis. Treatment challenges include poor communication gap between the health-care providers and the patients, a high-cost and unavailability of essential asthma medications. Poor technique uses for medication devices, especially the inhalational drugs and Lack of National/hospital protocol or guidelines for treating asthma. Several challenges affect asthma management in developing countries, which borders on poverty, inadequate resources, weak health systems, and poor infrastructure. Efforts should be made to address these challenges by the Nigerian government, Nigerian Thoracic Society, pharmaceutical industries, and the health-care workers in general.
PMCID: PMC3793433  PMID: 24116307
Asthma; Challenges; Diagnosis; Follow-up; Nigeria; Treatment
17.  Web GIS in practice III: creating a simple interactive map of England's Strategic Health Authorities using Google Maps API, Google Earth KML, and MSN Virtual Earth Map Control 
This eye-opener article aims at introducing the health GIS community to the emerging online consumer geoinformatics services from Google and Microsoft (MSN), and their potential utility in creating custom online interactive health maps. Using the programmable interfaces provided by Google and MSN, we created three interactive demonstrator maps of England's Strategic Health Authorities. These can be browsed online at – Google Maps API (Application Programming Interface) version, – Google Earth KML (Keyhole Markup Language) version, and – MSN Virtual Earth Map Control version. Google and MSN's worldwide distribution of "free" geospatial tools, imagery, and maps is to be commended as a significant step towards the ultimate "wikification" of maps and GIS. A discussion is provided of these emerging online mapping trends, their expected future implications and development directions, and associated individual privacy, national security and copyrights issues. Although ESRI have announced their planned response to Google (and MSN), it remains to be seen how their envisaged plans will materialize and compare to the offerings from Google and MSN, and also how Google and MSN mapping tools will further evolve in the near future.
PMCID: PMC1242244  PMID: 16176577
18.  Literature search on risk factors for sarcoma: PubMed and Google Scholar may be complementary sources 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:131.
Within the context of a European network dedicated to the study of sarcoma the relevant literature on sarcoma risk factors was collected by searching PubMed and Google Scholar, the two information storage and retrieval databases which can be accessed without charge. The present study aims to appraise the relative proficiency of PubMed and Google Scholar.
Unlike PubMed, Google Scholar does not allow a choice between "Human" and "Animal" studies, nor between "Classical" and other types of studies. As a result, searches with Google Scholar produced high numbers of citations that have to be filtered. Google Scholar resulted in a higher sensitivity (proportion of relevant articles, meeting the search criteria), while PubMed in a higher specificity (proportion of lower quality articles not meeting the criteria, that are not retrieved). Concordance between Google Scholar and PubMed was as low as 8%.
This study focused just on one topic. Although further studies are warranted, PM and GS appear to be complementary and their integration could greatly improve the search of references in medical research.
PMCID: PMC2874568  PMID: 20459746
19.  Google Scholar as replacement for systematic literature searches: good relative recall and precision are not enough 
Recent research indicates a high recall in Google Scholar searches for systematic reviews. These reports raised high expectations of Google Scholar as a unified and easy to use search interface. However, studies on the coverage of Google Scholar rarely used the search interface in a realistic approach but instead merely checked for the existence of gold standard references. In addition, the severe limitations of the Google Search interface must be taken into consideration when comparing with professional literature retrieval tools.
The objectives of this work are to measure the relative recall and precision of searches with Google Scholar under conditions which are derived from structured search procedures conventional in scientific literature retrieval; and to provide an overview of current advantages and disadvantages of the Google Scholar search interface in scientific literature retrieval.
General and MEDLINE-specific search strategies were retrieved from 14 Cochrane systematic reviews. Cochrane systematic review search strategies were translated to Google Scholar search expression as good as possible under consideration of the original search semantics. The references of the included studies from the Cochrane reviews were checked for their inclusion in the result sets of the Google Scholar searches. Relative recall and precision were calculated.
We investigated Cochrane reviews with a number of included references between 11 and 70 with a total of 396 references. The Google Scholar searches resulted in sets between 4,320 and 67,800 and a total of 291,190 hits. The relative recall of the Google Scholar searches had a minimum of 76.2% and a maximum of 100% (7 searches). The precision of the Google Scholar searches had a minimum of 0.05% and a maximum of 0.92%. The overall relative recall for all searches was 92.9%, the overall precision was 0.13%.
The reported relative recall must be interpreted with care. It is a quality indicator of Google Scholar confined to an experimental setting which is unavailable in systematic retrieval due to the severe limitations of the Google Scholar search interface. Currently, Google Scholar does not provide necessary elements for systematic scientific literature retrieval such as tools for incremental query optimization, export of a large number of references, a visual search builder or a history function. Google Scholar is not ready as a professional searching tool for tasks where structured retrieval methodology is necessary.
PMCID: PMC3840556  PMID: 24160679
Literature search; Literature search; Methods; Literature search; Systematic; Information storage and retrieval; Google Scholar; Medline
20.  Wikis and Collaborative Writing Applications in Health Care: A Scoping Review Protocol 
JMIR Research Protocols  2012;1(1):e1.
The rapid rise in the use of collaborative writing applications (eg, wikis, Google Documents, and Google Knol) has created the need for a systematic synthesis of the evidence of their impact as knowledge translation (KT) tools in the health care sector and for an inventory of the factors that affect their use. While researchers have conducted systematic reviews on a range of software-based information and communication technologies as well as other social media (eg, virtual communities of practice, virtual peer-to-peer communities, and electronic support groups), none have reviewed collaborative writing applications in the medical sector. The overarching goal of this project is to explore the depth and breadth of evidence for the use of collaborative writing applications in health care. Thus, the purposes of this scoping review will be to (1) map the literature on collaborative writing applications; (2) compare the applications’ features; (3) describe the evidence of each application’s positive and negative effects as a KT intervention in health care; (4) inventory and describe the barriers and facilitators that affect the applications’ use; and (5) produce an action plan and a research agenda. A six-stage framework for scoping reviews will be used: (1) identifying the research question; (2) identifying relevant studies within the selected databases (using the EPPI-Reviewer software to classify the studies); (3) selecting studies (an iterative process in which two reviewers search the literature, refine the search strategy, and review articles for inclusion); (4) charting the data (using EPPI-Reviewer’s data-charting form); (5) collating, summarizing, and reporting the results (performing a descriptive, numerical, and interpretive synthesis); and (6) consulting knowledge users during three planned meetings. Since this scoping review concerns the use of collaborative writing applications as KT interventions in health care, we will use the Knowledge to Action (KTA) framework to describe and compare the various studies and collaborative writing projects we find. In addition to guiding the use of collaborative writing applications in health care, this scoping review will advance the science of KT by testing tools that could be used to evaluate other social media. We also expect to identify areas that require further systematic reviews and primary research and to produce a highly relevant research agenda that explores and leverages the potential of collaborative writing software. To date, this is the first study to use the KTA framework to study the role collaborative writing applications in KT, and the first to involve three national and international institutional knowledge users as part of the research process.
PMCID: PMC3626140  PMID: 23612481
21.  Defrosting the Digital Library: Bibliographic Tools for the Next Generation Web 
PLoS Computational Biology  2008;4(10):e1000204.
Many scientists now manage the bulk of their bibliographic information electronically, thereby organizing their publications and citation material from digital libraries. However, a library has been described as “thought in cold storage,” and unfortunately many digital libraries can be cold, impersonal, isolated, and inaccessible places. In this Review, we discuss the current chilly state of digital libraries for the computational biologist, including PubMed, IEEE Xplore, the ACM digital library, ISI Web of Knowledge, Scopus, Citeseer, arXiv, DBLP, and Google Scholar. We illustrate the current process of using these libraries with a typical workflow, and highlight problems with managing data and metadata using URIs. We then examine a range of new applications such as Zotero, Mendeley, Mekentosj Papers, MyNCBI, CiteULike, Connotea, and HubMed that exploit the Web to make these digital libraries more personal, sociable, integrated, and accessible places. We conclude with how these applications may begin to help achieve a digital defrost, and discuss some of the issues that will help or hinder this in terms of making libraries on the Web warmer places in the future, becoming resources that are considerably more useful to both humans and machines.
PMCID: PMC2568856  PMID: 18974831
22.  Using Google Earth as an Innovative Tool for Community Mapping 
Public Health Reports  2008;123(4):474-480.
Maps are used to track diseases and illustrate the social context of health problems. However, commercial mapping software requires special training. This article illustrates how nonspecialists used Google Earth™, a free program, to create community maps.
The Bronx, New York, is characterized by high levels of obesity and diabetes. Residents and medical students measured the variety and quality of food and exercise sources around a residency training clinic and a student-run free clinic, using Google Earth to create maps with minimal assistance. Locations were identified using street addresses or simply by pointing to them on a map. Maps can be shared via e-mail, viewed online with Google Earth or Google Maps, and the data can be incorporated into other mapping software.
PMCID: PMC2430643  PMID: 18763409
23.  End-of-life issues for aboriginal patients 
Canadian Family Physician  2007;53(9):1459-1465.
To understand some of the cross-cultural issues in providing palliative care to aboriginal patients.
MEDLINE (1966 to 2005), CINAHL, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, and the Aboriginal Health Collection at the University of Manitoba were searched. Studies were selected based on their focus on both general cross-cultural caregiving and, in particular, end-of-life decision making and treatment. Only 39 relevant articles were found, half of which were opinion pieces by experienced nonaboriginal professionals; 14 were qualitative research projects from nursing and anthropologic perspectives.
All patients are unique. Some cultural differences might arise when providing palliative care to aboriginal patients, who value individual respect along with family and community. Involvement of family and community members in decision making around end-of-life issues is common. Aboriginal cultures often have different approaches to telling bad news and maintaining hope for patients. Use of interpreters and various communication styles add to the challenge.
Cultural differences exist between medical caregivers and aboriginal patients. These include different assumptions and expectations about how communication should occur, who should be involved, and the pace of decision making. Aboriginal patients might value indirect communication, use of silence, and sharing information and decision making with family and community members.
PMCID: PMC2234625  PMID: 17872874
24.  Advancement of orthodontic and craniofacial research sites in the last three decades 
Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences  2012;4(Suppl 2):S283-S284.
Scientific literature has grown tremendously in past five decades in volume as well as content. This communication enlightens young dentist and scientist about availability of scientific literature in digital format and on the web since it has become impossible to maintain literature in printed format due to sheer volume and content.
Materials and Methods:
The key words were searched in
Out of 3500 results relevant web pages was selected by the authors unanimously.
This article was primarily written to create awareness among young dentists and orthodontists the availability of varied orthodontic literature and contributors and journals in disseminating knowledge and opportunities.
PMCID: PMC3467911  PMID: 23066271
Orthodontic research; scientific literature; databases
25.  Google Scholar is not enough to be used alone for systematic reviews 
Background: Google Scholar (GS) has been noted for its ability to search broadly for important references in the literature. Gehanno et al. recently examined GS in their study: ‘Is Google scholar enough to be used alone for systematic reviews?’ In this paper, we revisit this important question, and some of Gehanno et al.’s other findings in evaluating the academic search engine.
Methods: The authors searched for a recent systematic review (SR) of comparable size to run search tests similar to those in Gehanno et al. We selected Chou et al. (2013) contacting the authors for a list of publications they found in their SR on social media in health. We queried GS for each of those 506 titles (in quotes ""), one by one. When GS failed to retrieve a paper, or produced too many results, we used the allintitle: command to find papers with the same title.
Results: Google Scholar produced records for ~95% of the papers cited by Chou et al. (n=476/506). A few of the 30 papers that were not in GS were later retrieved via PubMed and even regular Google Search. But due to its different structure, we could not run searches in GS that were originally performed by Chou et al. in PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus and PsycINFO®. Identifying 506 papers in GS was an inefficient process, especially for papers using similar search terms.
Conclusions: Has Google Scholar improved enough to be used alone in searching for systematic reviews? No. GS’ constantly-changing content, algorithms and database structure make it a poor choice for systematic reviews. Looking for papers when you know their titles is a far different issue from discovering them initially. Further research is needed to determine when and how (and for what purposes) GS can be used alone. Google should provide details about GS’ database coverage and improve its interface (e.g., with semantic search filters, stored searching, etc.). Perhaps then it will be an appropriate choice for systematic reviews.
PMCID: PMC3733758  PMID: 23923099
MeSH Keywords: Google Scholar; information retrieval; PubMed; searching; systematic reviews

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