Sunday, January 07, 2007

Searching PubMed

I've just offered a bit of library assistance to my eye doctor, who might write a case study for a journal. I wrote these instructions for her to search PubMed, easily accessible at http://www.pubmed.gov (it'll redirect to another URL, but pubmed.gov will work!).

Because she's writing a case study, I thought that reading a sample case study in her field might give her some good ideas about how to frame her case study. So here are my notes for her -- and you, too!

When you search PubMed, you can enter simple terms like you would in google. I typed in optometry and case study and this was one of the first results.

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2006 Mar;26(2):199-210. "Improvements in performance following optometric vision therapy in a child with dyspraxia." (authors): Hurst CM, Van de Weyer S, Smith C, Adler PM.

The abstract & more information are at the end of this post.

If you want to search PubMed, here's what to look for & how to make the process very precise for you. Some librarian tricks, you might say.

In the results list, you see citations -- titles & authors. If you click on the authors' names, you get an abstract. You'll also see on the right a few "Related Links" , which is PubMed's way of helping you find more articles on the topic of the article. Sometimes those are useful but sometimes they're not. Either way, they're worth looking at. (The Related Links for the article above are listed at the bottom of this email)

Another useful thing to look at -- and this is a real librarian trick -- is the "MeSH" terms (MeSH stands for Medical Subject Headings). Those are words / phrases that librarians gave to the article to say more precisely what it's about rather than terms the author used in the abstract. It's a "controlled vocabulary" so the terms are a very reliable way of finding articles on, for example, Vision Disorders/therapy or Optometry/methods. They're not terms you'd come up with on your own, but when you look at them, you know instantly that articles with either of those phrases attached would be useful.


Some of this can be tricky in PubMed, so ask me or a librarian if you get stuck!

Abstract: SS, an 8-year-old boy with dyspraxia, presented for behavioural optometry assessment. He had been diagnosed with a subtle form of dyspraxia by his paediatric occupational therapist, based on poor proprioception, delayed
bilateral integration and poor visual perception. A full visual assessment was carried out. SS was given a programme of reflex inhibition exercises for 3 months. Then, a programme of optometric vision therapy (OVT) exercises was prescribed at home and in practice for a period of 8 months. SS was assessed using a battery of occupational therapy Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) before optometric intervention, and after OVT. There were significant improvements in fusional reserves, accommodative facility and oculomotor control of pursuit and saccadic eye movements. His reading level had changed by 4 years in 11 months. The SIPT results showed improvements in the visual and motor/visual perception subtests, confirming the significant changes in visual perceptual performance. Consideration is given to treatment modalities for dyspraxia, and the studies confirming their effectivity of approach. This case study provides evidence supporting the use of OVT eye exercises in dyspraxia, ocular motility, accommodative dysfunction, learning difficulties and sports performance. The need for further research and inter-professional working is discussed.

Related Links

MeSH Terms:
  • Apraxias/physiopathology
  • Apraxias/psychology*
  • Biofeedback (Psychology)/methods
  • Child
  • Eye Movements
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Occupational Therapy/methods
  • Optometry/methods
  • Vision Disorders/etiology*
  • Vision Disorders/therapy*
  • Visual Perception*

1 comment:

YoYoYo said...

Have you tried "CureHunter.com"? They have a really interesting relational approach to mapping and searching Pubmed. They are focused on finding the best treatment options for disease, but it looks like you could search for any molecular compound.