Thursday, June 12, 2008

Parkinson's info English and Italian: case

It's been a while since I posted a case. Here's one I like.


A young man is referred to me by his GP. His father has been diagnosed with Parkinson's and he would like some information on the disease.


As usual my first stop is MedlinePlus. I type in Parkinson's and in addition to the disease overview, find an interactive tutorial that might be helpful, as well as being directed to family doctor's page on the topic. I also recommend Mayo Clinic's section on the topic.

I can see that the man wants as much information as possible, as this is a new diagnosis and he is the primary caregiver. So, I add eMedicine's section on Parkinson's to my recommendations. I also don't want to get lazy and just recommend the same ones over and over out of habit, while overlooking other excellent ones.

A couple of other useful resources I recommend for someone wanting as much information as possible:

  • provides Canadian drug information (the drugs Canadian doctors prescribe are often not listed in American resources by the same name) .
  • Lab tests online, which provides information on whatever tests might be ordered in relation to a specific condition. In this case, Parkinson's is not listed as one of the conditions, however I explain that he can look up each test separately as well.
While we are talking he wonders whether it might be possible to find some information for his father in Italian. Luckily I speak Italian which will make the search easier, however I have already discovered that there is a dearth of reliable resources in Italian.

The first thing I do is take a look at Medline's new multiple language resource to see if anything is there. Unfortunately there is not. I was very excited when the resource was launched a few weeks ago, as I'm sure many people were. Since then the initial excitement has worn off. There is great potential, but not much on offer just yet. I will keep checking as new topics are entered.

The first thing I do is look up the exact term in Italian. I go the the HONselect tool that allows you to look up MeSH headings in different languages. I type in parkinson's, select Parkinson disease, click on Italian and am told that the correct term is Malattia di parkinson. So far so good. I then go to the one Italian HONcode resource I have been able to find:*. I type in the term and get a list of clustered results. Under malattie e condizioni (diseases and conditions) I see 9 hits. Unfortunately none of these hits is directly relevant. I click on one to see how it relates to Parkinson's and discover that in this resource it is listed as Morbo di Parkinson. So now I do a search for that, only to discover that, while listed in the glossary and referred to in relation to malnutrition, incontinence, Huntington's etc., there is no page on that topic. So I have reached a dead end.

I do a Google search which I am unable to recall at the time of writing, and am able to find a multiple language resource that is new to me, NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service, and this one has a long list of topics in Italian, including the one I'm looking for. I am not surprised to find that NSW is Australian, as the country always has excellent health resources in multiple languages. Along with the one on Parkinson's I print the full list of topics for the man in case any other questions come up., and I add the resource to MyHq.

*This resource is only useful if you speak Italian, as there is no English version.

No comments: