Meeting Health Information Needs Outside Of Healthcare

Meeting Health Information Needs Outside Of Healthcare

Opportunities and Challenges

1st Edition - August 4, 2015

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  • Authors: Catherine Arnott-Smith, Alla Keselman
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081002483
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081002599

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Meeting Health Information Needs Outside of Healthcare addresses the challenges and ethical dilemmas concerning the delivery of health information to the general public in a variety of non-clinical settings, both in-person and via information technology, in settings from public and academic libraries to online communities and traditional and social media channels. Professionals working in a range of fields, including librarianship, computer science and health information technology, journalism, and health communication can be involved in providing consumer health information, or health information targeting laypeople. This volume clearly examines the properties of health information that make it particularly challenging information to provide in diverse settings.

Key Features

  • Addresses professional challenges and ethical problems of communicating health information to lay people in non-clinical settings
  • Focuses on health information as a challenge for different professionals providing health information in different settings
  • Emphasizes the shared challenges of information practice across different settings as well as those facing professionals in different roles


Postsecondary Teachers and Students in various disciplines, including (but not limited to) Library and Information Studies, Health informatics, Communication, Health Communication, Journalism and Education.

Table of Contents

    • Series Editor
    • About the authors
    • Editors’ foreword
    • Acknowledgments
    • Overview
      • 1. Designing health information programs to promote the health and well-being of vulnerable populations: the benefits of evidence-based strategic health communication
        • 1.1. Introduction
        • 1.2. Barriers
        • 1.3. Lessons learned: improving health communication for vulnerable populations
        • 1.4. Strategies to develop strategic communication
        • 1.5. Evaluating health communication
        • 1.6. Practice implications
      • 2. Health literacy research’s growth, challenges, and frontiers
        • 2.1. Introduction
        • 2.2. Four milestones in health literacy research
        • 2.3. Health literacy’s evolving definition and conceptual underpinnings
        • 2.4. The range and vitality of health literacy research
        • 2.5. Health literacy research’s current needs and frontiers
        • 2.6. Conclusions
    • Libraries
      • 3. Medical information for the consumer before the World Wide Web
        • 3.1. Introduction: “Closed to the Public”
        • 3.2. Background: the beginnings of consumer health information
        • 3.3. Libraries
        • 3.4. Librarian
        • 3.5. The patron
        • 3.6. Content
        • 3.7. Conclusions
      • 4. Ethical health information: Do it well! Do it right! Do no harm!
        • 4.1. Introduction
        • 4.2. Responsibility for the best possible information service
        • 4.3. The right to privacy and responsibility for confidentiality
        • 4.4. Providing fair and equitable access
        • 4.5. Intellectual property rights and access to information
        • 4.6. Advocacy for information access
        • 4.7. Providing information versus giving advice
        • 4.8. Conflicting values, dilemmas, and tough decisions
        • 4.9. Keep learning
      • 5. Health information resource provision in the public library setting
        • 5.1. Background
        • 5.2. Challenges
        • 5.3. Case study: embedded consumer health librarians in Delaware
        • 5.4. Conclusions
      • 6. Who needs a health librarian? Ethical reference transactions in the consumer health library
        • 6.1. Introduction
        • 6.2. The reference transaction: asking the right questions, avoiding the wrong answers
        • 6.3. Looking for the answers: symptom-checkers and self-diagnosing
        • 6.4. What did the doctor say? Health literacy and deciphering a whole new language
        • 6.5. When the answers have questions: experimental treatments and integrative medicine
        • 6.6. Conclusions
      • 7. Consumer health information: the community college conundrum
        • 7.1. The community college setting
        • 7.2. Health information needs at the community college
        • 7.3. Issues in health information provision
        • 7.4. Health literacy in the community college setting
        • 7.5. The future for community colleges and health information
        • 7.6. Conclusions
        • Appendix A: Community and Junior College Libraries Section (CJCLS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries
    • Contexts
      • 8. Health information delivery outside the clinic in a developing nation: The Qatar Cancer Society in the State of Qatar
        • 8.1. Introduction and background
        • 8.2. Qatar
        • 8.3. Methods
        • 8.4. Sources of consumer health information in the GCC
        • 8.5. Barriers to health care in Qatar
        • 8.6. The Qatar Cancer Society
        • 8.7. Cancer information delivery outside the clinical setting
        • 8.8. Conclusions
        • Appendix 1: Questionnaire
      • 9. Health information and older adults
        • 9.1. Introduction
        • 9.2. Background
        • 9.3. Settings: where do older adults go for information?
        • 9.4. Health information format considerations
        • 9.5. Format summary
        • 9.6. Health information comprehension among older adults: barriers and solutions
        • 9.7. Comprehension summary
      • 10. Re-envisioning the health information-seeking conversation: insights from a community center
        • 10.1. Introduction
        • 10.2. Understanding information behaviors
        • 10.3. Health information seeking in a local context
        • 10.4. Conclusions
      • 11. For the mutual benefit: health information provision in the science classroom
        • 11.1. Background
        • 11.2. The science classroom as a setting for health literacy
        • 11.3. Challenges and opportunities for bringing health education into the science classroom
        • 11.4. Conclusions and implications
      • 12. “You will be glad you hung onto this quit”: sharing information and giving support when stopping smoking online
        • 12.1. Introduction
        • 12.2. Interpersonal aspects of advice-giving and showing support online
        • 12.3. Methodology
        • 12.4. Results and discussion
        • 12.5. Conclusions
      • 13. Health information in bits and bytes: considerations and challenges of digital health communication
        • 13.1. Introduction
        • 13.2. The health programs
        • 13.3. The digital divide
        • 13.4. Don’t make me think
        • 13.5. Humanizing technology
        • 13.6. Know your audience
        • 13.7. Data dilemmas
        • 13.8. Conclusions
      • 14. Does specialization matter? How journalistic expertise explains differences in health-care coverage
        • 14.1. Introduction
        • 14.2. Why specialization should matter
        • 14.3. Methodology
        • 14.4. Results
        • 14.5. Discussion
        • 14.6. Conclusions
    • Afterword
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 376
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2015
  • Published: August 4, 2015
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081002483
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081002599

About the Authors

Catherine Arnott-Smith

Dr. Catherine Arnott Smith is an Associate Professor in the School of Library & Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a PhD in Library & Information Sciences/Medical Informatics and an MSIS in Information Sciences/Medical Informatics (University of Pittsburgh, 2002 and 2000 respectively), as well as master’s degrees in library and information science and American History/archives administration (University of Michigan, both degrees conferred in 1992). Her research interests are consumer health vocabularies and consumer interactions with electronic medical records and personal health records, as well as clinical information exchange in nonclinical spaces, such as public libraries and university disability resources centers.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor, School of Library & Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Alla Keselman

Dr. Alla Keselman is a Senior Social Science Analyst in the Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS), National Library of Medicine, United States National Institutes of Health. She holds a PhD in human cognition and learning and an MA in biomedical informatics from Columbia University. Dr. Keselman conducts research into lay understanding of complex health concepts, health literacy, and consumer health informatics, as well as the role of libraries and librarians in providing health information to the public. Dr. Keselman also oversees the development of life sciences and health education resources for K-12 students and teachers.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Social Science Analyst, Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS), National Library of Medicine, United States National Institutes of Health, USA

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