Introducing…Michelle Fiander

photo of michelle fianderThe Introducing . . . column is a regular feature that profiles an employee of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL). It is a way of introducing our staff to you. This month features Michelle Fiander, Systematic Review & Evidence Synthesis Librarian.

Michelle Fiander is the Systematic Review & Evidence Synthesis Librarian for the EHSL and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science. In this role, Michelle will provide consultation and hands-on support in the conception, development, and execution of evidence synthesis publications. She will also consult on projects ranging from systematic reviews, to reviews of reviews, scoping reviews, and rapid reviews with both the University community and external partners.

Evidence synthesis is a vital step in developing meaningful clinical trials, patient interventions, and processes to improve the delivery and practice of health care. Michelle is keen to advance and support this work within the University.

Prior to coming to EHSL, Michelle worked with the Cochrane Effective Practice & Organisation of Care Review Group, The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, a number of universities, and as a freelance consultant to university and industry research groups.

by: Michelle Fiander

ICMJE to Require Sharing Clinical Trial Data

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has presented a proposal for requiring authors to share clinical trial data, in conjunction with acceptance of their article for publication. In the January 26, 2016 publication of the Annals of Internal Medicine, the ICMJE indicated that they propose “to require authors to share with others the deidentified individual-patient data (IPD) underlying the results presented in the article…no later than 6 months after publication.” This proposal will also require authors to share a plan for where the data will be placed, who will be able to access it, and how.

It is the belief of the ICMJE that sharing clinical trial data will have significant benefits to clinical trial participants, researchers wanting to reproduce studies to ensure the results are accurate, for the expansion of new research studies, and for society more broadly.

Feedback on this proposal is encouraged by April 18, 2016. Visit the ICMJE to read the full data sharing proposal and submit comments.

Household Products Database

hpdEver wonder what’s in your air freshener, antiperspirant, or all-purpose cleaner?

The Household Products Database from the National Library of Medicine provides information on the potential health effects of chemicals contained in more than 15,000 common household products used inside and around the home. The database is designed to help answer the following typical questions:

  • What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands?
  • Which products contain specific chemical ingredients?
  • Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer?
  • What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand?

You can browse the database by product category, such as personal care or home maintenance. You can also search by product, ingredient or health effect.

Are there products that contain formaldehyde? Yes, several.

What products have tachycardia as a possible health effect? Various types of auto products.

The next time you find yourself curious about products, their ingredients, and their health effects, check out the Household Products Database.

The National Library of Medicine Training Center has created a short tutorial on the use of the Household Products Database.

When East Meets West – Resources for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

In 2007, 38.1 million adults made an estimated 354.2 million visits to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners, and spent $33.9 billion spent on visits, products, classes and materials.

What’s the difference between complementary and alternative medicine? Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, for example, using aromatherapy to help lessen a patient’s discomfort following surgery. Alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine, such as using a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy that has been recommended by a conventional doctor. In addition, there is Integrative medicine which combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness. Together, CAM and Integrative Medicine offers a diverse range of healing philosophies, therapies and products.[1]

Many CAM therapies are now considered mainstream and generally fall into five categories:

  • Whole medical systems – Ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy
  • Mind-body medicine – meditation, prayer, relaxation therapies
  • Biologically based practices – dietary and herbal supplements
  • Manipulative and body-based practices – massage, osteopathic, chiropractic
  • Energy medicine – Qi Gong, Reiki, magnet therapy

A recent survey of individuals over the age of 50 showed that only 28% discussed the use of CAM with a physician and only 12% with a nurse or nurse practitioner. [2] It is vital for members of the healthcare team – including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists – to discuss them with patients, as some complementary or alternative products or practices may be unsafe. For example,

  • Supplements can have drug-like effects or can interfere with prescription medications. John’s wort can decrease the effectiveness of numerous conventional drugs.
  • Certain types of massage can be harmful for individuals taking blood-thinning medications, and women in the first three months of pregnancy should not have their abdomen, legs and feet massaged.
  • Certain yoga poses should not be done by people who have glaucoma.

On average, a patient will spend 20 minutes with a nurse or physician’s assistant and 10.7 minutes with a doctor.[3] This limited amount of time to discuss health history, current health issues, and non-prescribed products or practices leads many individuals seeking information on CAM to a dizzying array of resources online. It is important for members of the healthcare team to know which sites are providing authoritative, non-biased information, so they can direct patients to the best information possible.

The following CAM resources are advertisement-free, do not collect any personal data, and are continually updated with the most current scientific research.

Dietary Supplements Label Database provides information on over 6,000 selected brands of dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals and herbs. Compare label ingredients for different brands, and locate supplements that do not contain animal products. Dietary Supplements Label Database links to current research and known adverse effects.

HerbMed is an interactive herbal database providing evidence-based information from the Alternative Medicine Foundation on 20 of the most popular herbs.

MedlinePlus is the premiere consumer health information resource from the National Library of Medicine. It contains over 850 health topics in English and Spanish and 48 other languages. Visitors will find information on herbal and dietary supplements – including effectiveness, common dosages, and known drug interactions, in addition to current research, news, and clinical trials related to CAM.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center provides evidence-based information about herbs, botanicals, supplements, and more with a focus on cancer and treatment.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on the usefulness and safety of CAM interventions. The site’s evidence-based information on CAM treatments and conditions is available in English and Spanish. There are videos explaining acupuncture, meditation, Qi Gong, Tai chi, and more.

NCCIH Clinical Digest is a monthly summary of evidence-based information – including clinical guidelines, literature searches, research highlights, and information for patients – on complementary health practices for a specific health condition.

Office of Dietary Supplements provides science-based dietary supplement information in English and Spanish, as well as an online tool to calculate daily nutrient requirements, recommendations for infants, children, and pregnant and lactating women, and a mobile app to keep track of vitamins, minerals and herbs.

CAM on PubMed is a partnership of NCCAM and the National Library of Medicine, linking you to citations related to CAM therapies, approaches, and systems. PubMed is a free database from the NLM with over 18 million citations from 5,700 biomedical journals. There are nearly 750,000 citations that cover CAM topics.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides information on dietary supplement recalls and advisories, tips for evaluating information, and labeling and regulatory information.

For more information contact Dana Abbey or John Bramble.

[1] Nahin RL, Barnes PM, Stussman BJ, Bloom, B. Cost of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and frequency of visits to CAM practitioners: United States, 2007. National health statistics reports; no. 18. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2009.

[2] AARP/NCCAM Survey Report of U.S. Adults 50+, 2010.

[3] Gottschalk, A, Flocke, SA. Time spent in face-to-face patient care and work outside the examination room. Annals of Family. Medicine; 2005 November; 3(6): 410-419. [PMC Free Article]

da, jb

Calling All Failures

Have you been really successful at failing?  Are you pushing the envelope enough to have garnered some powerful lessons learned through overcoming barriers from projects or innovative initiatives?  If so, we want you!

Innovation-related failures are as important, if not more so, than successes.  There’s a lot to be learned from failures, and our scholarly dissemination venues often don’t encourage the submission or publication of failures.  Remember, penicillin resulted from a failed experiment.

Help us to alleviate this non-sharing of failures by submitting your failure to e-channel, the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library’s (EHSL) new alternative dissemination venue for innovation.  There is an online template that you can complete to document your failure.  Imagine even getting academic credit for your failure – we hope to empower others with guidance as to what didn’t work for you.

Help us on this unique scholarly communication quest!  Submit your failure to e-channel today.  The first person to submit an acceptable failure wins a prize!

For more information about e-channel contact Christy Jarvis; 801-581-3031

For more information about the e-channel “first failure submitted” contest contact Jean Shipman; 801-581-8771.

e-channel screenshot

e-channel screenshot


cj – 5/8/2015

Citations Galore! Embase Arrives on August 1

embase logo

Embase Logo

 The Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) is pleased to announce that Embase will soon join the growing list of online resources available to University of Utah faculty, staff, and students.

Embase content overview

Embase content overview

With extensive international journal and conference coverage, Embase is a key resource for generating systemic reviews, supporting effective evidence-based medicine, and drug and medical device tracking.  Embase includes over 25 million citations from 8,400 journals and offers particularly strong coverage of European literature and titles in the area of drugs, pharmacology, and toxicology.  Overlap between MEDLINE and Embase is estimated to be about 60% at the journal level, meaning that Embase offers about 40% unique materials that cannot be found in MEDLINE.

Why use Embase?

  • For thorough preparation of systematic reviews
  • To complement your MEDLINE searches
  • For guided Emtree subject searching (including MeSH [Medical Subject Headings])
  • For basic natural language searching
  • For drug/pharmacy topics including pharmacovigilance and adverse effects
  • To find recent articles, conference papers, and EU journals
  • For extensive search limiting options
sample embase search

Sample Embase Search

Information to learn more about how to use this resources is available on the Embase website.

Embase arrives at the University of Utah on August 1.  The EHSL Research and Information Services faculty and staff can assist you in a thorough search of the literature to support your research and clinical care needs.  Contact EHSL; 801-581-5534 for additional information or to request assistance in using Embase.

cj – 5/7/2015

DynaMed Introduces a New and Improved Mobile App


University of Utah faculty, staff, and students who use the clinical reference tool DynaMed can now access the content anywhere with the new DynaMed mobile app.  The new app, available for Apple iOS 7.0+ and for Android 2.4+, provides all the functionality of the previous mobile platform, but in a cleaner interface. Installation and authentication has been streamlined and no longer requires a serial number to register. You can utilize the new mobile app on up to three mobile devices.

Sample search in DynaMed mobile app

Sample search in DynaMed mobile app

The DynaMed app provides offline access, and the ability to denote favorites, email topics and write and save notes about particular topics. Users download the complete DynaMed content set onto their device and periodically receive notifications to update the content.

The app can be downloaded from the iTunes Store or Google Play  Detailed installation instructions can be found on the EHSL blog.

Download the DynaMed mobile app

Download the DynaMed mobile app

The Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) licenses DynaMed for the university community. It contains clinically-organized summaries for over 3,400 topics. Clinicians of all types find DynaMed useful for clinical support decisions and point-of-care use.

For help with this or other mobile app downloads please contact the Library’s Reference Team.

cj – 5/8/2015