Improve critical appraisal with this one crazy tip

I spend lots of time training on basic critical appraisal.  I will have run 20 sessions over the past year (I have one more to do this morning before things grind to a halt for Christmas). This is great as they are challenging sessions where I regularly learn new things.  The quick turn over means I can also tweak as I go.

A couple of weeks ago I ran three sessions in as many days and these reinforced a few things.  It also seems timely to think about this as I have had confirmation that I will be attending this weekend long course in March.

I have had to run some of these sessions in constrained time slots (about an hour). In practice this means there is no time for the practical group appraisal exercise which is a shame.  However it also made me really focus on my slides.  A cut down version does away with nearly all the stuff about what the different research methods are and how they are used.  I found this seems to make for a more useful session – we can really focus on what people need to be doing as they read.  For many (most?) attendees the methodology stuff is a low level rehash and their interest is low.  There also isn’t enough time to do much justice to the topic even in a full two hour session. So a refreshed slide deck in prospect for next year.

Another lesson was that I should vary my papers.  I think there is a tendency in this type of training to stick to familiar favourites.  It makes for less preparation and you have the benefit of having heard others observations.  However I think one of the more successful aspects of the course is having experience of a wide range of papers to illustrate the points.  Carrying out more appraisal helps build skills and should make for a more engaging presentation.  Plus it means less repeating anecdotes.

The one crazy tip?  Running a session for a group of palliative care medics one observed:

The last sentence of the introduction is nearly always the research question


Tongue tie and the supplementary concepts

Delivering tailored literature search training for a departmental group is always a great opportunity for learning new things.  Today I helped a multiprofessional group who work in a tongue tie clinic.

This is the (cleaned up) strategy we ended up creating as part of the session:

  1. MEDLINE; (tongue AND tie).ti,ab; 160 results.
  2. MEDLINE; tonguetie.ti,ab; 6 results.
  3. MEDLINE; ankyloglossia.ti,ab; 290 results.
  4. MEDLINE; “tongue tie”.ti,ab; 157 results.
  5. MEDLINE; 1 OR 2 OR 3 OR 4; 398 results.
  6. MEDLINE; breastfeeding.ti,ab; 14979 results.
  7. MEDLINE; (breast AND feeding).ti,ab; 14567 results.
  8. MEDLINE; 6 OR 7; 27717 results.
  10. MEDLINE; BREAST FEEDING/; 27307 results.
  11. MEDLINE; 5 OR 9; 1383 results.
  12. MEDLINE; 8 OR 10; 38085 results.
  13. MEDLINE; 11 AND 12; 109 results.

The keywords are a nice example with some extra results by dropping the space and a solid alternate term in ankyloglossia that has a big impact on total results.

More interesting again is moving to the suject headings.  There is no Tongue Tie/ and it is not immediately clear what to go to from the alternatives offered up.  When in doubt try Pubmed and a tongue tie search in Pubmed returns the following search:

“Ankyloglossia”[Supplementary Concept] OR “Ankyloglossia”[All Fields] OR “tongue tie”[All Fields]

I had not met Supplementary Concept before (or if I have I forget).  When in doubt Google and that brough me to Mesh Record Types which explains these are for chemicals, drugs and rare diseases. Each is linked to a broader descriptor by the Heading Mapped to field (HM).

Sadly HDAS does not include HM in the “more fields” option and I cannot see a likely candidate in the list I tried HW but that came up blank.

For the purposes of my session I used the MeSH browser to look it up and found

Heading Mapped to *Mouth Abnormalities

I did not note the * at the time and wonder if I should have restricted to major terms but given the small numbers of articles involved I think it was fair to go with the whole heading.

Finally I also had a look in Cochrane where there is a protocol Frenotomy for tonguetie in newborn infants (which does not come up if your search for ankyloglossia incidentally). The protocol claims there is Tongue Tie in MeSH – it is an Entry Term but it won’t map to it so not sure myself.

Welcome anyones ideas on how to explain this to people!

Update catch up June 2014 edition

This issue was read and has been floating too and from work in my bag ever since so a rapid run through while dinner is cooking.

In the news we have the start of the regular CILIP AGM strife with various updates on planned governance changes. It was good that these were eventually balanced better though not without the usual levels of stress.

Poor old Tom Bishop from the RCSEng Library gets renamed Tom MacMillan in an item about an event on current awareness. The RCSEng have been developing a fantastic tailored current awareness service working closely with their members.

There is a press release posing as news from one of the suppliers who have developed a new ebook reader that they claim helps visually impaired readers. Standards have not always been a strength for this company so hopefully they have taken this on board for this development.

Phil Bradley talks about Vine as a means of communicating with library users. I recently saw some nice brief videos from colleagues down at St George’s.

The article on Social media risk is interesting but lacks information on how the survey was distributed which has the potential for sample bias.

The article on managing your professional online profile is a handy nag to remind me to update my LinkedIn. Setting up on SlideShare lately will also help share things of interest.

The likely creator of the short videos from SGUL features in her #uklibchat guise. I have occasionally engaged with this but it tends to fall at the wrong time for me. Hopefully this article will bring it to wider attention as it is a good forum for discussion.

The item on JUSP was a really good introduction for me to this system I was only dimly aware of in my NHS days. The idea of benchmarking is particularly appealing and something for me to pursue as part of work to improve our user insight at work.

Finally another dose in the ongoing dripfeed of articles about Chartership, revalidation and the VLE. Great to see the progress with using these tools and making the whole set up easier to engage with.