Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Effectiveness of Web-Based vs. Non-Web-Based Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Behavioral Change Outcomes

The Effectiveness of Web-Based vs. Non-Web-Based Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Behavioral Change Outcomes

An interesting article has just been published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, which disputes the recent Cochrane review in concluding that web-based interventions change behavior and affect outcomes positively.

Dean J Wantland, Carmen J Portillo, William L Holzemer, Rob Slaughter, Eva M McGhee conducted a "meta-analysis to provide further information on patient/client knowledge and behavioral change outcomes after Web-based interventions as compared to outcomes seen after implementation of non-Web-based interventions".

"Sixteen of the 17 studied effect outcomes revealed improved knowledge and/or improved behavioral outcomes for participants using the Web-based interventions."

"The effect size comparisons in the use of Web-based interventions compared to non-Web-based interventions showed an improvement in outcomes for individuals using Web-based interventions to achieve the specified knowledge and/or behavior change for the studied outcome variables. These outcomes included increased exercise time, increased knowledge of nutritional status, increased knowledge of asthma treatment, increased participation in healthcare, slower health decline, improved body shape perception, and 18-month weight loss maintenance."

If these findinjgs acurately represent the world we are now living in more investment in these sorts of theraputic interventions may provide a cost effective addition to traditional approaches.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

MIDIRS Institutional Access

The MIDIRS service at has been provding an excellent information and abstraction service for midwives for years, as an educational charity. It now now contains a database consisting of over 100,000 records of articles, book chapters, reports and other publications relating to maternity, pregnancy, childbirth, postnatalhealth, breastfeeding, and early infant care.

They have just announced a new initiative called MIDIRS Institutional Access ( MIDIRS I A ) which will provide access to the database for Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members via their web site http://

While checking for more info on this I inadertantly typed
which is a commercial site with "sponered" links which I believe to be trying to make money out of the good name and quality of service. This highlights to me the importance of anyone creating web resources registering similar domain names to protect their intellectual (and possibly commercial) rights.

I will be interested to see if any action is taken over the commercial site - I've informed MIDIRS in case they were not aware of their "competitor".

Enhanced Public Access to NIH Research Information

The US National Institutes for Health (NIH) currently is consultating on its proposal for a move towards an science model.

The NIH is proposing that all published research supported by NIH funding must be included in their open access digital repository, PubMed Central
( within 6 months of publication.

The deadline for public comment has been extended to Nov 16, 2004. Visit for further details.

I wonder how we can get a similar system in the UK with govt, research council, NHS & other public body (paid for by UK tax payers) science published in a similar way?

A related area of development is Creative Commons approach to allowing legal sharing of text images etc - in particular the Science Commons project to be launched on 1st Jan 2005.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

New EU e-health funding will focus on integration

New EU e-health funding will focus on integration

According to E-Health Insider "A new call for proposals for the European Union’s e-health programme is due to be launched next week. Around €75m are available in total for successful projects submitted in this fourth round of awards."

This could be a good opportunity to move forward with some integration work with european partners.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Healthcare Commission - public consultation

Have your say on how we can improve local health services

The Healthcare Commission is starting a public consultation on 29th Nov "seeking your views on specific areas of their work – including the questions used to assess whether the Government’s Standards* are being met, as well as how they will carry out their annual assessment of each healthcare provider in England in order to produce performance ratings."

It will be interesting to see the range and scope of this consultation. Will it just be a way of saying it is responding to public need or just a way of reducing administrative depends on trusts etc?