Tasks the National Library of Medicine Should Undertake to Develop Quality Internet Resources for Drug Information
proved health outcomes, decreased provider and emergency room visits, and ultimately reduced health care expenditures (Reigel et al., 2002; Bosworth et al., 2005; Caithain et al., 2005). Self-confidence and self-efficacy in handling one’s own health problems are also noted benefits of telephone interventions (Brooks et al., 2004).
Currently, most telephone helplines are available through health care providers and target certain health conditions, such as cancer (Jefford et al., 2005), chronic heart failure (Reigel et al., 2002), rheumatoid arthritis (Hughes et al., 2002), hypertension (Bosworth et al., 2005), and mental health problems (De Leo et al., 2002). Some address the needs of specific patient populations (e.g., pediatric patients) and are manned by physicians who share resources (Poole et al., 1993). For providers, the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR, 2005) provides lists of toll-free numbers for pharmaceutical companies staffed by nurses and pharmacists well qualified to provide drug information.
In Western Australia, nurses provide health information associated with general practice by telephone statewide (Turner et al., 2002); similar services are offered nationally in Canada (Robb, 1996), Denmark (Christensen and Olesen, 1998), and the United Kingdom (Caithain et al., 2005). The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom has by far the most