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Research your Way to Good Health Cara Helfner, MSLIS Program Manager The Michele and Howard Kessler Health Education Library Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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Presentation on theme: "Research your Way to Good Health Cara Helfner, MSLIS Program Manager The Michele and Howard Kessler Health Education Library Brigham and Women’s Hospital."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research your Way to Good Health Cara Helfner, MSLIS Program Manager The Michele and Howard Kessler Health Education Library Brigham and Women’s Hospital 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA (617)

2 So many sources... Books Journals, magazines and newsletters Pamphlets and fact sheets Audiotapes and Videotapes Online and CD-ROM Television and radio

3 Where do I find health information? Care providers Hospital and other libraries Stores and catalogs Friends and loved ones Within other sources

4 How do medical librarians choose their resources? Standards and Guidelines - JCAHO, MLA, Library Oversight Committees, Organizational Health Education Programs Library Collection Development Policies Lists - Brandon-Hill (MLA), CAPHIS Book Reviews and Recommendations

5 How do I know it’s “good” information? Accurate Reliable Clear Comprehensive Current Readable Educational Show Diversity The information should be:

6 How do I know it’s “good” information? The information should be accurate: Truthful and honest Complete Factually accurate Grammatically correct and free from typographical errors Data and statistics need to be substantiated

7 How do I know it’s “good” information? The information should be reliable: from reliable, believable, trustworthy, authoritative sources. Examples: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Faulkner Hospital American Cancer Society, American Heart Association Be wary of materials published by companies primarily involved in product sales!

8 How do I know it’s “good” information? The information should be clear: Text should be legible and consistent Short, simple paragraphs Concise section headings Illustrations should be easy to understand Illustrations relate to the text

9 How do I know it’s “good” information? The information should be comprehensive: Topic area needs to be clearly identified Books should provide an in-depth picture of topic Books cover definitions, causes, symptoms and treatments. Main points of work should be stressed and easily apparent

10 How do I know it’s “good” information? The information should be current: Books published or updated within the last five years Reviewed by subject experts for currency Bibliographies and references current

11 How do I know it’s “good” information? The information should be readable: Books should be easy to read Medical and technical terms should be well-defined Material should be well-organized Layout and design should be appealing

12 How do I know it’s “good” information? The information should be educational: Recommendations from clinical and nursing leaders Learning objectives are identified Books should help individuals understand specific illnesses

13 How do I know it’s “good” information? The information should address diversity: Books are available in various languages and formats Other cultures are presented in positive ways Content should be free of stereotypes and cultural biases

14 An example of a “good”book Numb Toes and Aching Soles by John A. Senneff Written by a patient/researcher and recommended by the Mayo Clinic and Mt. Sinai Medical Center, the book lists contributors from neurology departments at a dozen major hospitals Unfamiliar terms, such as “receptors” are in boldface and clearly defined Scope of book covers types, symptoms, causes, testing, pain, medication, medical therapies, alternative treatments, nutrients, experimental drugs, special considerations and coping

15 Further Reading Choosing Health Books as a Consumer By Lea K. Starr, B.Sc., M.L.S., Manager, Western Regional Operating Partner, Canadian Health Network Includes reputable publishers, features to look for in book selection, good sites with book listings, books to avoid and classic titles. Consumer Health Information Source Book Edited by Alan M. Rees, Oryx Press, 2000, ISBN $64.95

16 Look it up!


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