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Notes from the Chair - Fall 2014

Once more, e-HLbc is embarking on a year of exciting change. Starting this fall, I have assumed the position of Chair for the e-HLbc consortium. I have sat on the Management Committee as a post-secondary representative since 2010 and have also been a member of the BC Electronic Library Network for many years. As Institute Librarian at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, where we educate justice and public safety professionals, I have found e-HLbc resources to be invaluable, particularly for our paramedic students and faculty. As your new Chair, I will strive to realize your vision for e-HLbc, and facilitate communication and collaboration around issues that matter most to you.

Before considering the opportunities coming in the year ahead, I would first like to thank Ruth Rochlin, our outgoing Chair, for her leadership skills, passion, and humour in guiding the consortium through the notable transitions of the past few years. While we will miss having Ruth as Chair, she will remain on the Management Committee as Past Chair for the coming year so we can continue to benefit from her wisdom and experience.

e-HLbc’s most notable accomplishments over the past year include the successful negotiation for two new boutique licenses: EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (5th ed.). The DSM-5 license negotiation was an especially long and challenging one – a national deal in which e-HLbc and the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) led the charge to find optimal pricing for this critical reference resource.   In the end, e-HLbc members will benefit from the highest discount the American Psychiatric Publishing has ever granted a library consortium because of the national consortial approach. e-HLbc’s other accomplishments in the past year include a successful website migration to the Drupal 7 platform, a revamped product selection process with new selection and ranking tools, a negotiated Alexander Street Press license agreement with Gibson Library Connections, and additional training and technology guides.

In the upcoming year, our energies will be focused on negotiating the Core Suite renewal. It’s a huge task. Seeking input from member librarians on the quality and value of our current resources, deciding what content will be included in the next Core Suite, and negotiating the best price – there’s a lot of work ahead and many opportunities to draw upon the collective wisdom of the consortium. I look forward to working closely with e-HLbc members to acquire the best health information resources for health students, researchers, and practitioners around BC.

It’s an exciting time to be e-HLbc Chair! Stay tuned for further developments.

April Haddad, e-HLbc Chair

News & Events

e-HLbc announces new Management Committee leadership; Leigh Anne's maternity leave; successful website migration; and more.

Read more: News & Events

Reflecting on the Evolution of DSM and the Representation of Mental Disorders

e-HLbc’s latest product offer, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), now in its fifth edition, was first published in 1952 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). While the DSM is now considered a leading manual by clinicians and researchers, its evolution since its inception has been beset by controversy.    

While the purpose of DSM is to classify and diagnose mental disorders, there is potential for wider use of the manual by scholars from a number of disciplines unrelated to medicine. Researchers in the fields of literary criticism, history, LGBT, and women’s studies may all be interested in the way illness, and behaviours deemed deviant, have been represented, classified, and treated by medical professionals over time. An issue of particular interest to humanities and social sciences scholars is the treatment of homosexuality in the manual.

In DSM-1 (1952), homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder. After much criticism, homosexuality was deleted from DSM-2 (1968). Other “sexual deviances,” however, reappeared in DSM-3 (1980), renamed “paraphilias,” and included gender identity disorders, such as transsexualism. DSM-4 (1994) amended its diagnosis so that paraphilia would only be diagnosed as a mental disorder if it caused patients “distress” or “impairment” in their everyday functioning (De Block & Adriaens, 2013).   DSM-5 (2013), goes further to differentiate between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders, patients diagnosed with the latter if they caused harm or risk to themselves or others.

There have been several significant changes to specific disorder descriptions made in DSM-5. For example, the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the latest edition incorporates four previously distinct disorders: autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in DSM-5 is acknowledged to continue into adulthood, and the manual now allows adults to be diagnosed with ADHD with fewer symptoms than children. New diagnoses added to DSM-5 include binge eating disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and hoarding disorder (Grohol, 2013).

Although DSM-5 has changed significantly from its beginnings in the early 1950s, it is still not without its critics. There has been some criticism in the medical community that DSM-5 is insufficiently scientific, overly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, and can result in excessively medicating and pathologizing mental symptoms (Strong, 2014). Nonetheless, physicians and psychologists continue to rely on the manual, and it remains a useful and relevant source of historical and sociological information for researchers in disciplines other than medicine. As a tool and a reflection of accepted psychiatric knowledge, DSM-5 is a living work that will continue to evolve along with the medical community and society’s understanding of mental health.

Success Story: Providence Health Care Nurses Empowered by Research

e-HLbc is always eager to learn of the successes of its members. We recently spoke with two nurses, Patricia Lauridsen-Hoegh and Julie Kille, at St. Paul’s Hospital. They have been participating in the Practice-based Research Challenge, an initiative launched in 2011 with the aim of improving patient care through the promotion of research and evidence-informed practice.

Patricia has worked for fourteen years as a nurse in ward 10C, the medical unit specializing in HIV/AIDS care. Nurses in this ward have noted the frequency of stories of childhood abuse from their female patients. Patricia’s interest in better understanding the women in this ward, and the impact of trauma in their lives, impelled her to submit a research proposal to participate in the Research Challenge. In 2013, Patricia and her colleagues Dr. Dave Unger and Jane McCall organized a team, and with the help of their team mentor, submitted a research proposal.

Julie was delighted to take on the role of team mentor for Patricia’s team. She had worked for seven years in ward 10C as a frontline nurse before transitioning to a leadership position four years ago. She is now the operations leader for HIV/AIDS & Addiction Services. Julie, who is working on her Master of Science in Nursing on top of her full time work, has lent her research and subject expertise to the team.

The team’s research topic is “A prevalence study of childhood trauma among HIV-positive women admitted to the HIV Service at St. Paul’s Hospital” and is funded by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR). The team hypothesizes that many of their patients experienced childhood trauma. They have so far recruited 37 patients in ward 10C to participate in the study. To test this hypothesis, the team selected the Binghamton Childhood Abuse Screen (BCAS), a 36-item questionnaire that indirectly scans for a history of childhood abuse. There are a number of medical studies of the use of the tool in the community, but there are no existing studies of its use in hospitals. Once their research is complete, Patricia and Julie plan to present their findings at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Nurses in HIV/AIDS Care (CANAC).

Patricia and Julie hope that the results of their research will make nurses and other health care providers more aware of the impact of the traumatic experiences of patients in their care. As a program manager, Julie believes the results of the team’s research will help her make decisions for the unit that are based on evidence. Patricia feels that she and other frontline staff are empowered by taking an active role in researching real issues that they encounter in their everyday work.

Member Profile: Gwen Bird Returns to SFU Library

e-HLbc congratulates Gwen Bird on her new position as University Librarian at SFU Library. In this interview, we get Gwen’s perspective on the value of consortia for member libraries.

Gwen, the outgoing Executive Director of the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL), and the former Associate University Librarian of Collections at SFU Library, has been an active leader in both consortia and libraries. She believes one of the greatest challenges ahead for libraries is to redefine their role in their communities. From having long been perceived as storehouses of information, academic libraries are increasingly taking on the role as active agents in the production of scholarship. SFU Library’s strong digitization program, internationally recognized publishing software, and burgeoning data curation services, have all contributed to raising the profile of SFU Library within the wider university administration. As University Librarian, Gwen will foster increased librarian-faculty partnerships, encourage SFU’s liaison librarians to be deeply involved in the university community, and she will seek more funding for library projects.  

Gwen will also seek out further collaboration opportunities with library consortia. Working at COPPUL opened Gwen’s eyes to the power of the collective. The centralized negotiations that consortia specialize in succeed in the saving of costs and staff time for libraries. It was a real accomplishment for SFU Library, Gwen feels, to have e-HLbc hosted within its walls. e-HLbc provides a continuum of service for students as they progress in their careers. Gwen is proud that SFU hosts three regional consortia – e-HLbc, BC ELN, and COPPUL – at the library, and thinks that it is to SFU’s advantage to have close ties with the consortia and to be able to draw on their knowledge and expertise.

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